Police in the dock over face recognition

Police in the dock over face recognition

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The London Metropolitan police force has managed 10 trials of face recognition technology over the past three years – and the use Japan-based NEC’s Neoface solution has proved more than 80% inaccurate, according to an independent assessment conducted by the University of Essex.

What does the Met say in response? It reckons the technology is erroneous in a mere one in 1,000 instances. That would be pretty impressive given assessments conducted elsewhere. However, the police won’t say how it came up with that particular metric, so Neoface remains in the dock.

Researchers found the system often misidentified people who were then stopped. And they are warning that it is unlikely to be justifiable under human rights legislation.

Maybe the Met should take at look at the US. There, three cities have now banned the use of facial recognition technology by their departments, including by the police.

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