London Police Just Turned On Facial Recognition In One Of The World’s Busiest Shopping Districts
London’s Metropolitan Police recently began using facial recognition technology on London’s Regent Street, claiming it would reduce serious crime. The use of facial recognition technology has drawn criticism for its effect on privacy in one of the world’s busiest shopping districts. Cameras scan the faces of passerby, and when one matches with a list of wanted criminals, the police intervene. However, many claim that the flaws persisting in the technology will falsely identify people as criminals, especially those who are not white.
In December, the National Insitute of Standards and Technology, a US government body, released a report in which it tested tech from nearly 100 companies, which found that age, race, and gender were significant factors in facial recognition accuracy. The study found “empirical evidence” that individuals in certain groups were misidentified up to 100 times more than others.