Law enforcement agencies have the ability to use advanced facial recognition technology to keep communities safe, according to a report from the Major Cities Chiefs Association. FRT has the ability to fight criminal activity, identify people of interest, develop actionable leads, and close cases faster than before, the report said.
According to the report, there are three main uses of FRT platforms: face screening; Field identification; and face recognition. All three applications serve one purpose and can play a role in law enforcement operations.
However, facial recognition has widespread public and government concerns. Face recognition is a face recognition system that can match any human face to a digital image or video frame.
The MCCA offers several recommendations for developing an FRT program:
Create transparency between public and state actors. Law enforcement agencies looking to procure FRT platforms should involve both public and government stakeholders for feedback and transparency. The ultimate outcome of a criminal investigation using FRT should be recorded as part of the agency’s data collection process.
Be accountable to members who have received special training. Access to an agency’s FRT platform should be restricted to members who have received specific training in facial recognition methods, and the application of the technology should be carried out by individuals who are not directly involved in a particular investigation. According to the report, restricting access to an agency’s FRT platform to members with specialized training will reduce the contextual bias in certain investigations.
The MCCA also recommends agencies wishing to implement FRT to work with other agencies that have developed robust programs.
Appointment of responsibility for an FRT program manager. This person should be tasked with both the initial deployment and the ongoing oversight and development of the FRT program. The FRT examiner training should in particular include familiarization with standardized methods of face recognition and confirm the initial findings of an FRT examination by a second examiner.
As more agencies introduce FRT programs or purchase software with FRT capabilities, the report states that standard best practices should be discussed regularly. This is to ensure that this technology is used with the best of intentions, including protecting the privacy and civil liberties of citizens.
But not all officials endorse the technology, and some believe it does Ban on FRT. For example, Baltimore passed a law temporarily banning the city from purchasing facial recognition technology and temporarily restricting its use by city authorities, residents and businesses (but not the police).
According to WMAR-2 News, there are flashy cameras all over Baltimore, on banks and other businesses, and city officials question what they are recording and what the purpose of the footage is. Proponents of the bill cite misidentification of people of color and the unsettling effects of bias in the system as reasons for banning the technology.
The MCCA says their report serves as a comprehensive document of recommendations and considerations for the use of FRT. This includes the processes, protocols, procedures, and responsibilities that a law enforcement agency should assume when using the valuable technology.
More information from the MCCA report Click here.