Enhance 34 to 46. Pull back - wait a minute. Go right. Stop.
January 24, 2020 6:57 AM   Subscribe

Police to start using facial recognition cameras in London. The Met Police in London will use the system on a routine basis "overtly" and would warn people by "handing out leaflets". In tests, four in five of the people flagged by the system were innocent - but judges said a deployment in Cardiff was legal.

Meanwhile, systems are becoming more common across London and elsewhere in the UK. Their continued existence seems to depend on the media amplifying public objections. The Biometrics Commissioner (yes, we have one of those) said "we are not there yet" after a trial at the Notting Hill Carnival in 2017 and that the system "will need to be handled carefully by the police and the government if it is going to be trusted by the public."

The billboards in Piccadilly Circus have used face recognition to track the reactions of pedestrians to adverts for a few years (but no one asked if they could, and no one much seemed to care). A more recent deployment at the new King's Cross was abandoned by the developer after complaints.
posted by humuhumu (22 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
posted by PMdixon at 7:11 AM on January 24

Between this and the Clearview post, who exactly benefits from the jokey meme of “Linkedin/Twitter/Instagram/Tinder” when people use their real photos? People are providing a cross service link between their different social media accounts as a result.
posted by mrzarquon at 7:17 AM on January 24 [4 favorites]

London is already one of most surveilled cities in the world - the most surveilled outside of China.

If you have ever visited, the number of CCTV cameras is unreal. I used to walk along the canal and would always love seeing this juxtaposition.
posted by vacapinta at 7:38 AM on January 24 [16 favorites]

Will they start shaming people for wearing pyjamas in public or handing out fliers?
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 7:44 AM on January 24

businessinsider would be more convincing with better maths:

"The city of Shenzhen plans to have 16,680,000 cameras installed in the coming years, a 1,145 per cent increase over today's figure of approximately 1,929,600 cameras"
posted by biffa at 7:45 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]

There's a simple solution, stop using electricity, oh and the wheel while we're at it. Yes silly snark but tech and science does not roll back, the only solution is a social contract where the individual rights are protected. We really need something like a zeroth amendment but for the entire world.

0) May not harm people with data.
1) Freedom of speech
2) Guns...

posted by sammyo at 7:54 AM on January 24

London is already one of most surveilled cities in the world - the most surveilled outside of China.

And yet somehow, there's never footage of anything when there are allegations of police misconduct. The cameras are there, the footage just always disappears when that's convenient for the police.

Fuck the London Met.
posted by Dysk at 7:58 AM on January 24 [15 favorites]

Yeah, we banned most guns (a technology), and as a result there are mostly no guns and hardly anyone is killed or wounded by them in the UK. Banning CCTV with facial recognition seems like it would be similarly easy to ban or limit.
posted by biffa at 7:59 AM on January 24 [5 favorites]

juggalo makeup apparently deceives facial recognition software so the UK also has that option.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:10 AM on January 24 [8 favorites]

And how long before facial recognition disguise becomes illegal?
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:33 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]

Any update on the automated boot smashing a human efforts? Sounds promising, should get some angel investors a pitch.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 8:39 AM on January 24

UK in for some dark times ahead. Leaving the EU, parts of the UK leaving UK, full-blown pedo government, and a dash of police state. The US and UK are both now victims of the cold war, the USSR's fatal blow wasn't felt for decades, but here we are. I'd say good riddance but there's a good chance it'll only be replaced by something somehow even worse.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:46 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]

I will remind comicbook lovers of Vaughan's webcomic "The Private Eye" (pay what you want, starting at zero). Beautifully illustrated/coloured by Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente. Highly recommended!
posted by elkevelvet at 8:46 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]

juggalo makeup apparently deceives facial recognition software 

Juggalos already face unjustified police harassment. Wearing their makeup would be making yourself a police surveillance target, though that might be worth the risk as a show of solidarity.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:47 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]

From the "four in five" article:
The 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%.
So another way of describing this is there's a false positive rate of 0.1% and only a 0.025% true positive rate. If we knew the true population we could find a false negative rate.

However you describe it, what you do once someone is flagged by the system should account for the fact that four in five of them are still not the people you're really looking for.
posted by RobotHero at 9:56 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]

the cops are always filming you, which is why you need to always film the cops. cops need to know that every single second they’re in public, they’re being recorded. you should be able to tell when a cop is near by watching the wave of people taking out their phones to film them as they pass.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:03 AM on January 24 [5 favorites]

I never wanted to become one of those folks, but it's getting easier and easier to see a future where any intelligent, reasonably sensitive person is forced to become a recluse just to remain sane.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:26 AM on January 24 [5 favorites]

Time for new, socially acceptable makeup standards?
posted by Chuffy at 10:28 AM on January 24

juggalo makeup apparently deceives facial recognition software

It's old news and probably bypassed by algorithms now but CV Dazzle is a countertechnology to this. (Previously)
posted by lalochezia at 11:22 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]

who exactly benefits from the jokey meme of “Linkedin/Twitter/Instagram/Tinder” when people use their real photos?

Absolutely everyone of these kinda of things (10 year challenge, FaceApp, etc) are designed to train up, for free, various ML algos.
posted by sideshow at 12:26 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]

That face recognition software fooling styling is amazing and inspired.
posted by captain afab at 1:57 PM on January 24

full-blown pedo government

What? I don't like the Johnson government at all, but what?
posted by Grangousier at 4:48 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]

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