Another Facial Recognition System Bites The Dust

from the can't-recognize-this-mug dept

It’s been nearly two years since the September 11th tragedies and the “promise” of facial recognition technology to help prevent events like that from happening again doesn’t seem to be coming along so well. A couple weeks ago we wrote about how Tampa was ditching their face recognition technology after it helped them catch exactly zero criminals in over two years. Meanwhile, the big test was supposed to be in airports, and Boston’s Logan Airport is now saying that their system is so bad, not only did it not catch any criminals, it didn’t even catch many of the “tester” criminals they were using to make sure the system works (story submitted anonymously). To test the system, officials programmed in images of a number of decoys that the technology was supposed to catch. In 249 tries, it let the decoy pass without a problem 96 times. It did catch more than half of the decoys, but still, this is nowhere near what supporters of the technology were promising. To be honest, I’m surprised the technology worked as well as it did. But, if it’s that weak, it’s not hard to realize that simple disguises are likely to trick it every time. It still seems like the technology is going to be much more useful in matching up someone directly (such as proving you are who you say you are, so you can enter a restricted area) rather than picking a face out of a crowd.

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