Mugshots of Arrested Occupy Protestors Uploaded to Facebook

There was a minor hoopla yesterday after Boing Boing shared that mugshot photos of arrested Occupy Portland protesters were being uploaded by the Portland Police Department to Facebook. The police department quickly explained that it’s their standard practice to publish mugshots that are of media interest. However, many people are still uncomfortable with the idea of Facebook being used as a way to share mugshots. Stan Horaczek at PopPhoto writes,

While it doesn’t seem that there’s anything legally wrong with the photos ending up where they are, it is a little…creepy. Facial recognition software is getting scary accurate and with something as simple and straight forward as a mugshot, any program looking for a person on the web would almost certainly be able to find them without any trouble.

Regarding the copyright status of mugshots: did you know that federal mugshots are automatically entered into the public domain in the US?

(via Boing Boing via PopPhoto)

  • lloyd

    I think there’s defiantly something unsettling about the way the police can do this. but then again it all depends on the ‘crime’ they comitted

  • Brianne E Villano

    I think it’s interesting that they see nothing wrong with posting these pictures but it’s likely the cops themselves would have issues having their own photos/video taken.

  • Gemgem54

    Cool, now I know what my new heroes look like. We appreciate you all for speaking up for those of us who can’t.

  • David Quinalty

    If you’re being arrested for a public display of “civil disobedience”, why on earth would you be upset or offended that your participation was made public?  Isn’t that the whole point, to draw the public’s attention to a problem by personally getting involved in a very public demonstration?  Why would someone arrested for publicly protesting be “shamed” by having their image publicized for participating in that protest?  If you’re in a public place committing a public act intended to attract the attention of the public, you can’t also expect any amount of privacy.  Can’t have your cake and eat too.  

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s fully retarded! 

    1) Who decides who’s photos gets published “that are of media interest”?  Either publish them all or none, otherwise it’s a biased system.

    2) On top of that, using Facebook isn’t a good idea at all (seriously which Captain thought that one up) bc it allows anyone to post whatever in comments, like personal information, views on the individual exc exc. Yes they can delete that but only after the fact.

    3) Comments should be blocked bc anyone can write anything on that and it’s like the police are supporting it if they do.

    4) If they want to upload mug shots, there should be a central data base for the state (or country) for that. 

    5) Remember these people are innocent until proven guilty, so I think a mug shot photo shouldn’t be released to the public until the person admits guilt or is found guilty.

    Just my thoughts…

  • Through Painted Eyes

    slightly more than “likely”

  • Anonymous

    I actually think it would be great if all the protestors posted their photos to Facebook as proof to the Right Wing media and Republican politicians that everyone is a bunch of pot smoking, college kids.