Fla. county looks to IBM facial recognition to keep sex offenders away from kids

July 5, 2013 - 

The Miami-Dade County in Florida is set to test a facial recognition system from IBM in attempt to keep sex offenders out of public parks.

The project is set to begin in the next two months and aims to catch convicted sex offenders approaching a range of public spaces where children are likely to be found.  Reported in the Wall Street Journal, the county’s CIO, Angel Petisco said the system will likely be expanded to more regional locations by the end of the year, provided the test is a success.

The county is also considering other uses for recognition technology, outside of catching sex offenders in places they shouldn’t be.

Miami-Dade isn’t the first community to turn to facial recognition for keeping tabs on convicted sex offenders.

Reported previously, the Iowa Department of Public Safety has equipped every Iowa Sherriff’s department with facial recognition software to digitize the mugshots of sex offenders in the state.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a $1 million grant for the creation of a biometric sex offender registry.

Facial recognition, as a whole, is gaining traction and also, public support.

Also, According to a recent CNN/Time/Orc poll, 79% of Americans are in favor of using facial recognition at various locations and public events, and 81% support expanded camera surveillance on streets and in public places.

In fact, according to a recently-published research report, the global facial recognition market is estimated to grow from $1.92 billion in 2013 to $6.5 billion in 2018, at an impressive CAGR of 27.7%.

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for BiometricUpdate.com. His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for CBCNews.ca, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj