ALTHOUGH police have been using facial recognition in the UK since June 2015, the device is still considered to be taboo by many people across the country.
We take a look at what exactly police facial recognition is and how it works.
What is police facial recognition?
Automatic facial recognition – or AFR – is an advanced way of recognising people by using computers to scan their face with a camera as they walk by.
Facial-recognition is a way of identifying or verifying who a person is by scanning their face with a computer.
Its main use is to make sure a person is who they say there are.
But it’s also being used by law enforcement in places like China to create a suspect database and to spot criminals in crowds.
Police facial recognition cameras have been trialled at events such as football matches, festivals and parades.
High-definition cameras detect all the faces in a crowd and compare them with existing police photographs, such as photos from previous arrests.
Some UK police forces have used AFR technology in public spaces since June 2015 – including South Wales, the Metropolitan Police and Leicestershire Police.
How does it work?
Facial recognition technology maps faces in a crowd then compares results with a “watch list” of images which can include suspects, missing people and persons of interest.
Police who have trialled the technology hope it can help tackle crime but campaigners argue it breaches privacy and civil liberty.
A dot projector will produce more than 30,000 dots of this invisible light, creating a 3D map of your face.
An infrared camera then captures images of this dot pattern.
Using all that info, your phone can identify your face’s defining features – like your cheekbone shape, or the distance between your eyes – to verify your identity.
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What’s the latest?
An office worker caught on police facial recognition camera while Christmas shopping will today launch a major legal challenge against the cops.
Ed Bridges claimed his human rights had been breached after his face was scanned by South Wales Police twice.
In one of the incidents, Mr Bridges said he had been out shopping in Cardiff in December 2017.
He believes he was scanned by Automatic Facial Recognition (AFR) again at a peaceful anti-arms protest.
Mr Bridges has since crowdfunded action against South Wales Police, claiming that the use of AFR breaches data protection and equality laws.
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