Serving our community for over 70 years

Facial recognition tech is a potentially unreliable police tool

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2020 | Firm News |

A Detroit man had to spend 30 hours in jail recently over a shoplifting charge he had nothing to do with.

Police arrested the man, who is African American, while he was at home with his family. The did so based on so-called facial recognition technology.

Police moved to arrest the man after reviewing footage from the store where someone took watches without paying for them.

While the image in the video was blurry, facial recognition technology allowed them to compare features to other images known to be that of the man whom they accused. In this case, though, police ultimately had to admit that the technology failed and had led them to arrest an innocent person.

There are serious concerns about the police’s reliance on this technology. For one, many times this technology uses photographs that the government requires.

For instance, driver’s license photos can be stored and then used in a facial recognition technology system for comparison to, say, fuzzy surveillance videos which show a crime in progress or other critical evidence.

Of course, people routinely get their photos taken to get a driver’s license without any inkling that it will eventually be used against them.

Moreover, as in the recent case, this technology can be unreliable and lead to false arrests and even false convictions. Some have said that the technology even can give credence to racial bias among police officers who are using it.

A person who is accused of a crime based on facial recognition technology may have legal options available to him or her.  For instance, he or she may want to consider asking the judge to disallow the evidence on various legal grounds.


FindLaw Network

Get Started By Contacting Our Firm

How We Are Different

We strive to become one of the most sought-after providers of legal services in the Metropolitan Detroit area.
We endeavor to meet or exceed the expectations of our clients in all aspects of their legal representation.
We promote a collegial atmosphere in which all individuals are encouraged to learn, improve and excel and to become leaders in the legal, business and civic communities.
We will pursue our belief that individuals with a sense of family and community and with interests outside the practice of law are better for it.
Creighton McLean & Shea PLC

Contact The Office

14881 Farmington Road
| Livonia, MI 48154