The Failures Of Facial Recognition Software: Drivers Losing Licenses For Looking Like Terrorists
from the you-know-you're-a-terrorist,-when... dept
Over the years, we’ve discussed the technological failings of facial recognition software for law enforcement… but they just keep on trying. RichS was the first of a bunch of you to send in the story of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles suspending licenses due to a match on facial recognition software designed to “detect” terrorists:
After frantic calls and a hearing with Registry officials, Gass learned the problem: An antiterrorism computerized facial recognition system that scans a database of millions of state driver?s license images had picked his as a possible fraud.
It turned out Gass was flagged because he looks like another driver, not because his image was being used to create a fake identity. His driving privileges were returned but, he alleges in a lawsuit, only after 10 days of bureaucratic wrangling to prove he is who he says he is.
Massachusetts bureaucrats seem positively thrilled with the system, claiming that they’re sending out 1,500 suspension notices a day based on such reports. To be honest, I can’t believe that they really mean per day, seeing as the article also notes that the facial recognition system only called out 1,000 such matches last year (and then later claims 1,860 licenses were revoked last year because of the software, so the numbers are all over the place). But, still, it sounds like a lot of folks in Massachusetts have to re-prove their identity every day because some computer falsely thinks they’re someone else.
Either way, the bureaucrats don’t seem at all concerned about relying on a highly questionable system to declare people guilty:
Kaprielian said the Registry gives drivers enough time to respond to the suspension letters and that it is the individual?s ?burden?? to clear up any confusion. She added that protecting the public far outweighs any inconvenience Gass or anyone else might experience.
Ah, the logic of clueless bureaucrats.