The use of facial recognition technology becomes more prevalent every day. Among the many concerns this brings, such as the infringement of people’s privacy, is the worry that it could lead to your arrest.
Many would say that a tool that helps the police catch people who commit crimes is a good thing. Unfortunately, it can also lead to the police arresting people who had nothing to do with a crime.
One alleged case of mistaken identity currently in the news involves a heavily pregnant woman arrested after the victim of a robbery identified her from a set of images of people put forward based on facial recognition systems the police use.
Arguments about the accuracy of the technology aside, she claims the police should have stopped and questioned the accuracy of the identification as soon as they saw that she was pregnant because the victim never mentioned anything about the person who robbed them being pregnant.
Maryland lawmakers have moved to limit police use of facial recognition
The Maryland House approved Bill HB 0223 earlier this year. It is currently awaiting consideration by the Senate. If passed, the bill would impose some control on the police’s ability to use facial recognition technology. Although some feel the bill should push for greater controls, it would at least be a start.
The police have always made errors and occasionally arrested the wrong people. Facial recognition could help avoid that, but without appropriate caution, it may expand their scope for error. Reports suggest that the technology is particularly bad at misidentifying Black people.
If you have experienced legal problems you believe result from the use of facial recognition technology, it’s wise to learn more about your rights.