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Facial recognition in crime-fighting from Corsight with only 50 pixels of face

Company featured on BBC’s Frontline Fightback
Facial recognition in crime-fighting from Corsight with only 50 pixels of face

The latest episode of Frontline Fightback, a series on the use of technology in crime-fighting on the top UK television channel BBC One, included Corsight AI in its discussion of the use of facial recognition technologies by law enforcement to prevent crime.

The program analyzed the use of these biometric tools across three cases: an Italian jeweler in Ely, Cambridgeshire, shopkeepers in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, and a serial arsonist in Telford, Shropshire.

Executives from biometrics solutions provider Corsight AI are interviewed in the program, highlighting the benefits of facial recognition for law enforcement, particularly against criminals who are partially covering their faces.

Generating leads in challenging conditions

“We can do facial recognition with masks, we can do facial recognition at 90-degree head turn. We can do facial recognition, acute angles of address from high-mounted cameras. We can do facial recognition in low light, all sorts of really difficult scenarios,” says Corsight CEO Rob Watts.

“Pretty much if we can get 50 pixels between the ears on an image, we’ll be able to give facial recognition against that person.”

According to Watts, the development of this technology, and the fact it can identify individuals with high accuracy is a significant breakthrough, which tips the balance in favor of law enforcement.

“Criminals believe that they can be walking around in plain sight wearing a face mask […] not observant of any laws. And they’re thinking that they can go and commit crime as they […] choose in a face mask because they can’t be detected. That’s not the case. They will be detected. They will be seen, they will be noticed.”

Further, Watts also believes facial recognition can help to speed up police investigations.

“Typically what the police do is they collect all of the CCTV that they can in the area and bring it back to base. What they have to do now in many cases, is have someone sit there and watch all of that video footage.”

Watts says Corsight AI’s technology speeds up that process considerably with retrospective facial recognition.

“What we can do is just consume that video fast-track 15 times, 30 times [faster] […] It will tell you how many faces you’ve seen in that footage and whether any of those faces were known to you. That then acts as intelligence for the police officers to continue on that case.”

There is not much understanding of how police forces in the UK are using facial recognition. The Biometric Commissioner office has launched a survey to understand what technologies – including retrospective — are being used.

Privacy concerns

Watts concluded his interview by addressing privacy concerns commonly connected to facial recognition as a tool of biometric surveillance.

“As the chief executive of a facial recognition business, I do not want to live in an Orwellian society. I want our software to be used as a force for good,” he explained.

“We’ve already seen fingerprint technology being used in criminality, DNA technology being used in criminality, protecting the public from harm. Facial recognition takes that to a different level.”

Corsight has also recently added granular privacy controls to its flagship facial recognition software Fortify to support ethical deployments of the technology.

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