The technology of face recognition in service of Scotland Yard is practically useless

The system of external video surveillance, working in London, is called "Orwellian" and critically inefficient: only 2% of the cases of comparison of camera images with databases proved to be reliable.

Face Detection program installed on the servers of Scotland Yard, gives 98% of false alerts about the coincidence of personalities of people caught on surveillance cameras with databases of criminal elements. Leading experts in biometrics recognized it as "completely unfit for use."

In response to journalists' requests under the Freedom of Information Act, Scotland Yard provided statistical data, from which it follows that of the 104 cases of positive response of the system, in only two cases the camera record and the database showed indeed the same person. The police refuse to call it "false operation", insisting that when receiving a signal, experts in any case view the data themselves.

The program of video recording and face recognition is used at major public events, for example, at Carnival in Notting Hill and at the Six Rugby Nations Match.

In South Wales, the effectiveness of video recording of the flow of people in public places seemed even lower: the police reported that of 2400 system activations, one person (efficiency less than 1%) only in fifteen cases it was the same face in video and database.

Biometrics specialist, Professor Paul Wiles told that the British government is obliged to develop the legislative framework governing the use of face recognition technology as soon as possible:

"The results of the system test showed that it was completely unsuitable for use. We need legislative regulation of the use of biometric data by the principle that determines the work with DNA and fingerprints. The government promises to publish a strategy in the field of biometrics in June this year, and I hope that the negative experience of testing this technology will be taken into account. It is very important, from the point of view of public trust, that people know when their biometric data is collected and for what purpose."

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