Academic Study Offers ‘Balanced Perspective’ on South Wales Police Facial Recognition

“Commenting on the Cardiff University study, South Wales Police Deputy Chief Constable Richard Lewis said it offers “a balanced perspective” on the facial recognition system, with police use of facial recognition having become a controversial subject in the UK.”

Academic Study Offers 'Balanced Perspective' on South Wales Police Facial RecognitionFacial recognition technology being used by South Wales Police has now come under academic scrutiny, with a new report from Cardiff University suggesting that as it stands, the technology is effective as an aide to traditional police identification of criminal suspects, rather than a fully automated system in itself.

As the BBC reports, the Cardiff University study found that SWP’s Locate system, which is designed to match faces from CCTV feeds against a predetermined database, can accurately identify an individual 76 percent of the time but suffers from lag when several faces are imaged in a frame. Another system for static images, Identify, was unable to work with 68 percent of images, which were deemed to be of insufficient quality.

The study, undertaken by the school’s Police Science Institute, comes after a WalesOnline investigation this past summer found that the police force’s facial recognition technology had substantially improved since its first launch, with SWP crediting its technology provider, NEC, with the enhancements.

Commenting on the Cardiff University study, South Wales Police Deputy Chief Constable Richard Lewis said it offers “a balanced perspective” on the facial recognition system, with police use of facial recognition having become a controversial subject in the UK. Lewis added that he hoped the study would “help to demystify some of the misunderstandings and misinformation that have proliferated across the press.”

Source: BBC News

December 3, 2018 – by Alex Perala