FBI Will Begin Collecting Information About Your Tattoos

by Michael S. Berg - Criminal Defense Lawyer on March 21, 2013

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has tracked fingerprints and DNA for many years. With expanding technology, the FBI is also able to track a person’s voice and irises in some cases. However, starting next year, the FBI will be able to track body art as well.

The FBI recently announced plans to collect information from across the country regarding tattoos to be added to the FBI’s Biometric Center of Excellence database. According to a memo issued by the FBI, the Biometric Center of Excellence is “seeking information from academia, industry, or law enforcement entities related to any current databases containing tattoo/symbol images, their possible meanings, gang affiliations, terrorist groups or other criminal organizations.”

According to the FBI, the interest in tattoos is only for investigative and informational purposes. However, some people question the government’s ability to track tattoos. While the FBI has not commented on the exact scope of this program, it is not likely that every person with body art is being sought out. More likely the FBI seeks to track information that is already being collected.

Law enforcement agencies routinely record identifying information as part of the booking process when a person is arrested. Such information includes the person’s name or alias, height, weight, hair color, eye color, and distinctive physical characteristics like scars and tattoos. There is no apparent reason why the FBI cannot collect and analyze information regarding body art that was obtained legally and ethically by another agency.

According to a recent study conducted by Harris Interactive, one in every five adults has some sort of body art. Therefore, collecting this information is likely to be very important for law enforcement.

If you have any questions regarding DNA, fingerprint, or tattoo databases and their uses by law enforcement, please contact our San Diego Criminal Defense office at 619-239-2186.

If you have been charged with a crime or are under investigation for criminal activity, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Contact our office to setup an initial consultation.

Michael S. Berg - Criminal Defense Lawyer
Michael S. Berg is a Criminal Defense Attorney from San Diego, California. With extensive experience defending people arrested and accused of all types of criminal offenses, Michael can help you, too, if you're in trouble.
Michael S. Berg - Criminal Defense Lawyer
Michael S. Berg - Criminal Defense Lawyer
Michael S. Berg - Criminal Defense Lawyer

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