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Is police use of face recognition now illegal in the UK?

New Scientist

The UK Court of Appeal has unanimously reached a decision against a face-recognition system used by South Wales Police. The judgment, which called the use of automated face recognition (AFR) "unlawful", could have ramifications for the widespread use of such technology across the UK. But there is disagreement about exactly what the consequences will be. Ed Bridges, who initially launched a case after police cameras digitally analysed his face in the street, had appealed, with the support of personal rights campaign group Liberty, against the use of face recognition by police. The police force claimed in court that the technology was similar to the use of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in cities.


South Wales police lose landmark facial recognition case

The Guardian

The use of facial recognition technology by South Wales police broke race and sex equalities law and breached privacy rights because the force did not apply proper safeguards, the court of appeal has ruled. The critical judgment came in a case brought by Ed Bridges, a civil liberties campaigner, who was scanned by the police software in Cardiff in 2017 and 2018. He argued that capturing of thousands of faces was indiscriminate. Bridges' case had previously been rejected by the high court, but the court of appeal ruled in his favour on three counts, in a significant test case for how the controversial technology is applied in practice by police. But the appeal court held that Bridges' right to privacy, under article 8 of the European convention on human rights, was breached because there was "too broad a discretion" left to police officers as to who to put on its watchlist of suspects.


UK court rules police facial recognition trials violate privacy laws

Engadget

Human rights organization Liberty is claiming a win in its native Britain after a court ruled that police trials of facial recognition technology violated privacy laws. The Court of Appeal ruled that the use of automatic facial recognition systems unfairly impacted claimant Ed Bridges' right to a private life. Judges added that there were issues around how people's personal data was being processed, and said that the trials should be halted for now. The court also found that the South Wales Police (SWP) had not done enough to satisfy itself that facial recognition technology was not unbiased. A spokesperson for SWP told the BBC that it would not be appealing the judgment, but Chief Constable Matt Jukes said that the force will find a way to "work with" the judgment.


Facial recognition use by South Wales Police ruled unlawful

BBC News

The use of automatic facial recognition (AFR) technology by South Wales Police is unlawful, the Court of Appeal has ruled. It follows a legal challenge brought by civil rights group Liberty and Ed Bridges, 37, from Cardiff. But the court also found its use was proportionate interference with human rights as the benefits outweighed the impact on Mr Bridges. South Wales Police said it would not be appealing the findings. Mr Bridges had said being identified by AFR caused him distress.


Abolish the #TechToPrisonPipeline

#artificialintelligence

The authors of the Harrisburg University study make explicit their desire to provide "a significant advantage for law enforcement agencies and other intelligence agencies to prevent crime" as a co-author and former NYPD police officer outlined in the original press release.[38] At a time when the legitimacy of the carceral state, and policing in particular, is being challenged on fundamental grounds in the United States, there is high demand in law enforcement for research of this nature, research which erases historical violence and manufactures fear through the so-called prediction of criminality. Publishers and funding agencies serve a crucial role in feeding this ravenous maw by providing platforms and incentives for such research. The circulation of this work by a major publisher like Springer would represent a significant step towards the legitimation and application of repeatedly debunked, socially harmful research in the real world. To reiterate our demands, the review committee must publicly rescind the offer for publication of this specific study, along with an explanation of the criteria used to evaluate it. Springer must issue a statement condemning the use of criminal justice statistics to predict criminality and acknowledging their role in incentivizing such harmful scholarship in the past. Finally, all publishers must refrain from publishing similar studies in the future.


UK's facial recognition technology 'breaches privacy rights'

The Guardian

Automated facial recognition technology that searches for people in public places breaches privacy rights and will "radically" alter the way Britain is policed, the court of appeal has been told. At the opening of a legal challenge against the use by South Wales police of the mass surveillance system, lawyers for the civil rights organisation Liberty argued that it is also racially discriminatory and contrary to data protection laws. In written submissions to the court, Dan Squires QC, who is acting for Liberty and Ed Bridges, a Cardiff resident, said that the South Wales force had already captured the biometrics of 500,000 faces, the overwhelming majority of whom are not suspected of any wrongdoing. Bridges, 37, whose face was scanned while he was Christmas shopping in Cardiff in 2017 and at a peaceful anti-arms protest outside the city's Motorpoint Arena in 2018, says the use of automatic facial recognition (AFR) by South Wales police caused him "distress". The case has been brought after South Wales police and the Home Office won a high court case last year that effectively gave the green light for national deployment of the technology.


IBM is canceling its facial recognition programs

#artificialintelligence

London (CNN Business)IBM is canceling its facial recognition programs and calling for an urgent public debate on whether the technology should be used in law enforcement. In a letter to Congress on Monday, IBM (IBM) CEO Arvind Krishna said the company wants to work with lawmakers to advance justice and racial equity through police reform, educational opportunities and the responsible use of technology. "We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies," he said, noting that the company no longer offers general purpose facial recognition or analysis software. "IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values," he added. Krishna is of Indian origin and IBM's first CEO of color.


Facial recognition is in London. So how should we regulate it?

#artificialintelligence

As the first step on the road to a powerful, high tech surveillance apparatus, it was a little underwhelming: a blue van topped by almost comically intrusive cameras, a few police officers staring intently but ineffectually at their smartphones and a lot of bemused shoppers. As unimpressive as the moment may have been, however, the decision by London's Metropolitan Police to expand its use of live facial recognition (LFR) marks a significant shift in the debate over privacy, security and surveillance in public spaces. Despite dismal accuracy results in earlier trials, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has announced they are pushing ahead with the roll-out of LFR at locations across London. MPS say that cameras will be focused on a small targeted area "where intelligence suggests [they] are most likely to locate serious offenders," and will match faces against a database of individuals wanted by police. The cameras will be accompanied by clear signposting and officers handing out leaflets (it is unclear why MPS thinks that serious offenders would choose to walk through an area full of police officers handing out leaflets to passersby).


Met police to begin using live facial recognition cameras

The Guardian

The Metropolitan police will start using live facial recognition, Britain's biggest force has announced. The decision to deploy the controversial technology, which has been dogged by privacy concerns and questions over its lawfulness, was immediately condemned by civil liberties groups, who described the move as "a breathtaking assault on our rights". But the Met said that after two years of trials, it was ready to use the cameras within a month. The force said it would deploy the technology overtly and only after consulting communities in which it is to be used. Nick Ephgrave, an assistant commissioner, said: "As a modern police force, I believe that we have a duty to use new technologies to keep people safe in London. Independent research has shown that the public support us in this regard."


Google CEO backs temporary ban on facial recognition

FOX News

Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai supports a temporary ban on facial recognition technology in the European Union. Activists and technologists have called the controversial technology racially biased, and voiced concerns about privacy, regarding its use by governments and law enforcement. "I think it is important that governments and regulations tackle it sooner rather than later and give a framework for it," Pichai told a conference in Brussels, according to Reuters. Alphabet is Google's parent company.