FB pixel

Detroit officials deny police use real-time facial recognition with city surveillance network


City officials in Detroit have blasted a report from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology (CPIT) as “completely false and misleading,” saying the city does not use public real-time biometric facial recognition as part of its controversial Project Green Light, Detroit Metro Times reports.

CPIT highlights Detroit’s million-dollar, three-year contract for real-time facial recognition signed with DataWorks Plus in 2017 in the “America Under Watch” report. Wired has reported that Detroit is not currently using the real-time capability. The system of more than 500 public surveillance cameras was launched in 2016 with cameras at locations with late-night traffic, and has since been expanded to include Grand Circus Park, which the Metro Times reports is a popular location for protests and other gatherings, and a medical center, among numerous locations the researchers say people may desire privacy while obeying the law.

Police Chief James Craig wrote in a letter to the researchers that police would not “violate the rights of law-abiding citizens,” and took issue with the characterization of the system as “Orwellian.”

“If there is a report of a crime or a crime is witnessed by a DPD member, the crime is reported to sworn members to investigate,” Craig wrote. “If there is an articulable reasonable suspicion that an individual is observed or reported to have committed a crime, only then is their still image provided for analysis with the Facial Recognition program.”

“The only time it is used is after a crime is committed and investigators go back through video to pull a still image of a suspect to try and determine his or her identity,” city spokesperson John Roach says, as reported by the Metro Times.

In the report, which also says Chicago contracted DataWorks Plus for its city surveillance system, researchers Clare Garvie and Laura M. Moy call for a moratorium on public facial recognition until privacy concerns are adequately dealt with, and comprehensive regulation of law enforcement use of facial recognition by state legislators.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced in March that police will have access to hundreds of cameras installed at intersections over the next few years.

Controversy around the use of public facial recognition by law enforcement seems to be coming to a head with the recent passage of major restrictions on the technology’s use in San Francisco.

Related Posts

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


UK gov’t introduces new digital identity verification services bill

The UK government has announced a coming identity verification services bill that will support digital ID products and services from…


EES launch postponed to November, EU’s biometric border app may still not be ready

A smartphone app designed to streamline queues for the EU’s upcoming border checks will not be available in time for…


US government transitions Veteran’s Affairs, IRS to Login.gov or ID.me

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says it will implement a more streamlined login process for veterans to access…


Data breach raises questions about Fractal ID’s decentralized identity architecture

A data breach at decentralized digital identity verification provider Fractal ID has exposed the ID documents and facial images of…


Physical IDs no longer mandatory in Azerbaijan, where 65% use digital identity

Physical and digital IDs have reached parity in Azerbaijan, where the government has announced that identity information provided through the…


Recfaces argues biometric data privacy rule carries Olympics security risk

RecFaces is calling for facial recognition technology (FRT) to be used as a key security measure to protect critical infrastructure…


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events