U.S. Activists File Complaint against Michigan State Police Faulty Facial Recognition

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On Wednesday, in the United States, incorrect match by facial recognition has led to the wrongful arrest (first known). This is based on the increasing use of technology. Civil liberties activists alleged in a complaint to police.

The Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) said in the complaint that in January, Robert Williams had to spend a full day in police custody as face recognition software matched his driving license photo to surveillance video of someone shoplifting.

The union has also shared a video where the officers released him after acknowledging the computer must have made a mistake, says Williams. Government document shows that the match for Williams came from Michigan state police’s digital image analysis section.

The complaint has requested the police of Detroit to stop the use of facial recognition as the facts of Mr. Williams case. The case has proven to be flawed and the investigators have proved to be incapable of using such powerful technology.

Michigan state police along with Rank One has state separate guidelines that facial matches should not be used as the sole basis for arrest. It is unclear if the police had additional evidence before arresting Williams, who is Black, said ACLU.

Even though the police have used facial recognition in convictions, the activists claim that there should be greater precautions to mitigate such issues.

Last year, in a blog post, Rank One described the concerns about misidentification as misconceptions. The company went on citing the research from the U.S. government about the high accuracy of top systems.

An attorney at ACLU, Jacob, said that “even if Rank One performs well, that didn’t help Mr. Williams here and Rank One should take responsibility.”

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