FBI used facial recognition to identify a Capitol rioter from his girlfriend’s Instagram posts

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The FBI says it used facial recognition technology to track down and arrest an individual suspected of taking part in the US Capitol riots earlier this year. The case, which was first reported by The Huffington Post, is notable for the FBI’s acknowledgement that it used facial recognition not just to confirm a suspect’s identity, but to discover it in the first place.

According to an affidavit shared online by the Huffington Post, federal agents tracked down an individual named Stephen Chase Randolph using crowdsourced images from the riots (including those shared on Twitter by a group known as SeditionHunters). They searched these pictures on the web using “an open source facial recognition tool, known to provide reliable results,” and…

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