FOI Docs Show Advancement of South Wales Police Facial Recognition Tech

“At Biggest Weekend, the facial recognition technology delivered two accurate matches against police databases, with one arrest made on an outstanding warrant.”

South Wales Police are using much improved facial recognition technology in their biometric surveillance efforts, reports WalesOnline.FOI Docs Show Advancement of South Wales Police Facial Recognition Tech

The revelation comes by way of a freedom of information request, which found that during a major music event this past May called Biggest Weekend, the police force’s facial recognition technology produced only 10 false matches. That’s a significant improvement over the technology’s performance last year when it was first deployed in Cardiff on the occasion of a major soccer match, where over 2,000 people were wrongly identified as criminals.

South Wales Police’s technology is provided by NEC, and in a statement responding to WalesOnline’s investigation, the police force credited the company for providing “a new algorithm and application,” noting that NEC has had “12 months more research and development from the project’s initiation.” The police force added later that its facial recognition system has led to the arrests of more than 450 people since July of last year.

At Biggest Weekend, the facial recognition technology delivered two accurate matches against police databases, with one arrest made on an outstanding warrant.

The technology’s improved accuracy should help to alleviate some of the concern about police use of biometric surveillance in public, which has become a live issue in recent months as controversies erupted over Amazon’s sale of facial recognition technology to police agencies in the US, and privacy and civil rights advocates have called on government authorities to cease or clarify their use of such biometric technology in the UK.

Source: WalesOnline

August 30, 2018 – by Alex Perala