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Are The Cops Using Wrong Face Recognition Tool?

One of the UK privacy groups has been criticizing the facial recognition system used by the police as they can’t do it with accuracy.

With the intention of catching the wanted criminals, public events have been observed very closely using facial recognition system by 2 forces.

The technology was “dangerous and inaccurate” as it’d strongly and wrongly flagged up a staggering number of innocent people as suspects said Big Brother Watch.

Those facial recognition cameras have been set at the football match, festivals, parades and any other crowdy places. There are also high definition cameras that detect all the people’s faces ad match them with the police database where there are people who are mugshots, killers etc. from previous arrests.

The facial recognition works in such was:

  1. Faces in existing police photos are mapped by the software
  2. Cameras at events scan faces in the crowd.
  3. Faces are compared for possible matches and flagged to officers.
  4. Photos of false matches are kept for weeks.

Big Brother Watch submitted freedom of information requests to every police force in the UK.

Two police forces acknowledged they were currently testing facial recognition cameras. Big Brother Watch said their systems had wrongly flagged thousands of innocent people.

The Metropolitan Police used facial recognition at London’s Notting Hill carnival in 2016 and 2017 and at a Remembrance Sunday event. Its system incorrectly flagged 102 people as potential suspects and led to no arrests.

In figures given to Big Brother Watch, South Wales Police said its technology had made 2,685 “matches” between May 2017 and March 2018 – but 2,451 were false alarms. Big Brother Watch also raised concerns that photos of any “false alarms” were sometimes kept by police for weeks.

“Automated facial recognition technology is currently used by UK police forces without a clear legal basis, oversight or governmental strategy,” the group said. Leicestershire Police tested facial recognition in 2015 but is no longer using it at events.

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