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Police to test facial recognition in Westminster

Police to test facial recognition in Westminster

Technology
The Metropolitan Police is to test live facial recognition in Westminster as part of an ongoing trial of the controversial technology. A deployment of the surveillance software will take place on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 December in and around Soho, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.It will be used "overtly" with a uniformed presence and information leaflets available to the public, the Met said.All faces on the database used during the deployment are people wanted by police and the courts.Members of the public could decline to be scanned, the Met said. Ivan Balhatchet, strategic lead for live facial technology for the Metropolitan Police Service, said: "The Met is currently developing the use of live facial recognition technology and we have committed to 10 trials...
Amazon urged not to sell facial recognition tool to police

Amazon urged not to sell facial recognition tool to police

Technology
Amazon's decision to market a powerful face recognition tool to police is alarming privacy advocates, who say the tech giant's reach could vastly accelerate a dystopian future in which camera-equipped officers can identify and track people in real time, whether they're involved in crimes or not. It's not clear how many law enforcement agencies have purchased the tool, called Rekognition, since its launch in late 2016 or since its update last fall, when Amazon added capabilities that allow it to identify people in videos and follow their movements almost instantly. The Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon has used it to quickly compare unidentified suspects in surveillance images to a database of more than 300,000 booking photos from the county jail — a common use of such te...
Face recognition police tools 'staggeringly inaccurate'

Face recognition police tools 'staggeringly inaccurate'

Technology
Police must address concerns over the use of facial recognition systems or may face legal action, the UK's privacy watchdog says.Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said the issue had become a "priority" for her office.An investigation by campaign group Big Brother Watch suggested the technology flagged up a "staggering" number of innocent people as suspects.But police have defended the technology and say safeguards are in place.Which police forces are using facial recognition?Big Brother Watch submitted freedom of information requests to every police force in the UK. Two police forces acknowledged they were currently testing facial recognition cameras. The Metropolitan Police used facial recognition at London's Notting Hill carnival in 2016 and 201...
Facebook seeks facial recognition consent in EU and Canada

Facebook seeks facial recognition consent in EU and Canada

Technology
Facebook has started asking European and Canadian users to let it use facial recognition technology to identify them in photos and videos.Facebook originally began face-matching users outside Canada in 2011, but stopped doing so for EU citizens the following year after protests from regulators and privacy campaigners.The new request is one of several opt-in permissions being rolled out in advance of a new data privacy law.The move is likely to be controversial.The company is currently embroiled in a privacy scandal related to the use of its members' personal information by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.The social network is also facing a class-action lawsuit in the US for deploying the facial recognition technology there without users' explicit consent."Biometric identifica...
Facebook facial recognition faces class-action suit

Facebook facial recognition faces class-action suit

Technology
Facebook must face a class action lawsuit over its use of facial recognition technology, a California judge has ruled.The lawsuit alleges that Facebook gathered biometric information without users' explicit consent.It involves the "tag suggestions" technology, which spots users' friends in uploaded photos. The lawsuit says this breaches Illinois state law.Facebook said the case had no merit and it would fight it vigorously.However in his order, US District Judge James Donato wrote: "Facebook seems to believe... statutory damages could amount to billions of dollars."'Face templates'On Monday, Judge Donato ruled to certify a class of Facebook users - a key legal hurdle for a class action suit.In a successful class action suit, any person in that group could be entitled to compensation. The c...