Frown, You’re On Face-Rec Camera
After Tampa, Fla., Virginia Beach, Va., has become the second major city to be equipped with “facecams” or face-recognition technology in many of its public surveillance cameras. The technology analyzes facial features from images gathered through surveillance of public areas and turns facial measurements into a code that can then be compared to and matched with law-enforcement agencies’ databases of codes for criminals and suspected terrorists. Virginia Beach authorities have yet to make one arrest using the face-recognition technology, which actually has a success rate of about 30 percent. This means that innocent people with facial features similar to those of known criminals or suspected terrorists can be accidentally targeted by the technology and law-enforcement officials. In one case, the identity of a Tampa construction worker, Rob Milliron, was mistaken by the facial-recognition technology and authorities for that of a criminal. The technology’s inaccuracy could have even more serious consequences for innocent citizens who are mistakenly identified as suspected terrorists–who, under new post-Sept. 11 laws, can be held with no trial or legal counsel.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Seattle Times (04/28/03) P. B5; Ortega, Joshua.