ACLU comments on face recognition misidentification
13 July 2020 17:49 GMT

The Detroit Free Press reported on July 10 that Michael Oliver, a 25-year-old Black man from Detroit, was wrongfully arrested because of a false face recognition match last year.

The American Civil Liberties Union last month shared the story of Robert Williams, who was arrested and detained for nearly 30 hours for a crime he did not commit.

Below is comment from Dan Korobkin, ACLU of Michigan legal director:

“We warned Robert Williams would not be the only person to be wrongfully accused of a crime they did not commit because of a flawed technology law enforcement should not be using. Sadly, it appears we were right and there are still likely many more people we will learn about nationwide. The Detroit Police Department and Wayne County Prosecutor should not need a new policy to know not to arrest someone without having conducted a proper investigation. These are bedrock principles of constitutional law.

“Detroit police’s new policy is a fig leaf that provides little to no protection against a dangerous technology subjecting an untold number of people to the disasters that Robert Williams and Michael Oliver have already experienced. Lawmakers must take urgent action to stop law enforcement use of this technology until it can be determined what policy, if any, can effectively prevent this technology's harms. At the same time, police and prosecutors nationwide should review all cases involving the use of this technology and should notify all individuals charged as a result of it. This technology is dangerous when wrong and dangerous when right.”

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