A tool that could take crime fighting to another level is off to a very rocky start. South Wales Police are receiving backlash after data revealed their facial recognition flopped harder than a soccer player in a Premier League Match.
There are many critics already quite skeptical about Police use of facial recognition technology, and this newly released data only strengthens their argument. During 2017’s Champions League Final, the technology failed mightily when it misidentified thousands of potential criminals. Out of a possible 2,470 initial matches, a whopping 2,297 were deemed false positives.
The police force’s reasoning for such a terrible success rate is “poor image quality” from both the Interpol and UEFA and the fact it is still a new technology. The Wales Police force added: “No facial recognition system is 100% accurate under all conditions,” and defended the overall results by pointing out there have been 2,000 positive IDs in nine months with 450 arrests and no wrongful arrests. Even though the there have been false positives at events since June despite claims of improving accuracy.
The force credits extensive safeguards in place that prevent mistaken arrests such as checking the authenticity of initial alerts plus an “intervention team” to interact with a target to determine whether they are the person of interest. With that said the numbers in the data are quite alarming. Instead of helping Police fight crime it would seem this could be more of detriment to their efforts.
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