Privacy watchdog groups have some concerns. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the NGI system will allow photo submissions independent of arrests.
“This is a problem because the FBI has stated it wants to use its facial recognition system to ‘identify subjects in public datasets’ and ‘conduct automated surveillance at lookout locations,’” the EFF writes in a blog post. “This suggests the FBI wants to be able to search and identify people in photos of crowds and in pictures posted on social media sites—even if the people in those photos haven’t been arrested for or even suspected of a crime. The FBI may also want to incorporate those crowd or social media photos into its face recognition database.”