There are just so many of these -- stories of surveillance, of erosion of our rights -- that it's becoming impossible to keep up. Smile! You, too, will be in a federal database Next year will mark the beginning of the FBI’s newest sophisticated facial recognition technology. This is part of the government’s latest toy. . . . This will be used in tandem with the federal fingerprint system currently used. The problem, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is: NGI will result in a massive expansion of government data collection for both criminal and noncriminal purposes. IAFIS is already the largest biometric database in the world—it includes 70 million subjects in the criminal master file and more than 31 million civil fingerprints. Even if there are duplicate entries or some overlap between civil and criminal records, the combined number of records covers close to 1/3 the population of the United States. When NGI allows photographs and other biometric identifiers to be linked to each of those records, all easily searchable through sophisticated search tools, it will have an unprecedented impact on Americans’ privacy interests.Now, the hairy part: The new NGI database will also allow law enforcement to submit public and private security camera photos that may or may not be linked to a specific person’s record. This means that anyone could end up in the database—even if they’re not involved in a crime— by just happening to be in the wrong place at the wrong time or by, for example, engaging in political protest activities in areas like Lower Manhattan that are rife with security cameras.The EFF article has an graphic example of how this works.