The new Facial Recognition Unit is taking advantage of social media images and matching them to existing mugshots.

The NYPD‘s new Facial Recognition Unit is using pictures on social media to catch criminals. This greatly expands the practical applications the technology, which uses features like the shape of the eye, nose, and cheekbones to match images.

DNAinfo New York reports that the unit searches Facebook and Instagram for photos of suspects in order to track them down. The technology can match any images that the police find to mug shots of known criminals.

It is now revolutionizing investigations, even though hits aren't legally considered “probable cause” for making an arrest, they provide a way for suspects to be identified. A police official told DNAinfo New York about a recent case where it was put to good use:

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