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During the 2002 Virginia General Assembly, Delegate H. Morgan Griffith sponsored legislation setting legal parameters for public sector use of facial recognition technology in Virginia. The Virginia State Crime Commission, a standing legislative commission of the Virginia General Assembly, is statutorily mandated to make recommendations on all areas of public safety in the Commonwealth of Virginia. RAND analyst John D. Woodward, Jr. presented this briefing to the Virginia State Crime Commission Facial Recognition Sub-committee in September 2002. It does not make specific policy recommendations, rather defines biometrics and discusses examples of the technology, explaining how biometrics may be used for authentication and surveillance purposes. Facial recognition is examined in depth, to include technical, operational, and testing considerations. It concludes with a discussion of the legal status quo with respect to public sector use of facial recognition.

The research described in this report was conducted by RAND Public Safety and Justice for the Virginia State Crime Commission.

This report is part of the RAND documented briefing series. RAND documented briefings are based on research presented to a client, sponsor, or targeted audience in briefing format. Additional information is provided in the documented briefing in the form of the written narration accompanying the briefing charts. All RAND documented briefings undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity. However, they are not expected to be comprehensive and may present preliminary findings. Major research findings are published in the monograph series; supporting or preliminary research is published in the technical report series.

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