New York Magazine: There Wil Be No Turning Back on Facial Recognition – It’s not perfect yet, but it’s already changing the world

“If Larry Griffin II’s story typifies a best-case use of facial recognition for law enforcement, Kaitlin Jackson, a public defense attorney with the Bronx Defenders, tells me one that exposes its drawbacks. Jackson represented a man who’d been arrested for the theft of socks from a T.J. Maxx store in February 2018, supposedly after brandishing a box cutter at a security guard. “My client was picked up months after the robbery, and the only way I even found out facial recognition was used was that I just started calling the prosecutor and saying, ‘How in the world did you decide months after that it was my client? There are no forensics,’” she says. “It turned out the police went to T.J. Maxx security and said, ‘We want to pull the surveillance, we’re going to run it through facial recognition’ — so they were already cluing him in that any suspect will have been picked by facial recognition. And then they texted the security guard a single photo that he knows has been run through facial recognition, and they said, ‘Is this the person?’ That’s the most suggestive procedure you could possibly imagine. And then they make the arrest and say it’s on the basis of an [eyewitness] ID, and they try to bury that this is a facial-recognition case.”

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