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Facial Recognition Software not Reliable

Posted 93 days ago | 15.05.18

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Facial Recognition Software not Reliable


Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said the issue pf facial recognition software  has become a priority for her office. 

An investigation by campaign group Big Brother Watch suggested the technology flagged up a disproportionately large number of innocent people. Despite this the police have defended the technology and say safeguards are in place.


Big Brother Watch submitted freedom of information requests to every police force in the UK and two police forces acknowledged they were currently testing facial recognition cameras.


The Metropolitan Police used the system at London's Notting Hill carnival in 2016 and 2017 and at a Remembrance Sunday event.

This incorrectly flagged 102 people as potential suspects and led to no arrests.


South Wales Police said its technology had made 2,685 matches between May 2017 and March 2018  but admitted that 2,451 were false alarms. Leicestershire Police tested facial recognition in 2015, but is no longer using it at events.


Police facial recognition cameras have been trialled at events such as football matches, festivals and parades. It works as high-definition cameras detect all the faces in a crowd and compare them with existing police photographs, such as mugshots from previous arrests, flagging potential matches for rather investigation.



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