81% of ‘suspects’ flagged by Met’s #police facial recognition technology innocent, independent report says
Four out of five people identified by the Metropolitan #Police’s facial recognition technology as possible suspects are innocent, according to an independent report. Researchers found that the controversial system is 81% inaccurate – meaning that, in the vast majority of cases, it flagged up faces to police when they were not on a wanted list. The force maintains its technology only makes a mistake in one in 1,000 cases – but it uses a different measurement to arrive at this conclusion.The report, exclusively revealed by Sky News and The Guardian, raises “significant concerns” about Scotland Yard’s use of the technology, and calls for the facial recognition programme to be halted.Citing a range of technical, operational and legal issues, the report concludes that it is “highly possible” the Met’s usage of the system would be found unlawful if challenged in court. Advertisement Image: An independent report calls for Scotland Yard to halt its use of facial recognition technology The Met has been monitoring crowds with live facial recognition (LFR) since August 2016, when it used the technology at Notting Hill Carnival.Since then, it has conducted 10 trials at locations including Leicester Square, Westfield Stratford, and Whitehall during the 2017 Remembrance Sunday commemorations. More from London The first independent evaluation of the scheme was commissioned by Scotland Yard and conducted by academics from the University of Essex.Professor Pete Fussey and Dr Daragh Murray evaluated the technology’s accuracy at six of the 10 police trials. They found that, of 42 matches, only eight were verified as correct – an error rate of 81%. Four of the 42 were people who were never found because they were absorbed into the crowd, so a match could not be verified. :: Listen to the New Lines podcast on Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, SpreakerThe Met prefers to measure accuracy by comparing successful and unsuccessful matches with the total number of faces processed by the facial recognition system. According to this metric, the error rate was just 0.1%.