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Use of face biometrics sharply criticized in two US criminal cases

Use of face biometrics sharply criticized in two US criminal cases
 

Kylese Perryman, 21, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against two police agencies in the U.S. state of Minnesota following his allegedly false arrest, reportedly based on flawed use of facial recognition.

Perryman, a Black man, said his rights were violated by police from the city of Bloomington and deputies from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office after he was wrongly identified as a suspect in a robbery and a carjacking, says CBS News Minnesota.

Hennepin County prosecutors charged Perryman and he spent five days in jail, according to CBS, and 30 days at home being monitored. After 52 days, the charges were dropped.

When he tried to get his record expunged, Perryman says, he was told that Hennepin County claimed his arrest was the result of faulty facial recognition software.

But facial recognition is not a legal probable cause to make an arrest and many algorithms have a bias that favors white middle-aged men.

Moreover, a comparison of the person in the video and Perryman shows that the individuals differ in height, weight and hairstyle. The suspect in surveillance photos also does not have tattoos on his arms. Perryman does.

Perryman’s lawyer told CBS that his client was witnessed at a family gathering that occurred as the robbery happened and he was clocked in at work during the carjacking.

“The idea that law enforcement can arrest someone, detain them for days in jail and prosecute them simply because they look like the suspect with no other investigation is absolutely appalling,” says Teresa Nelson of American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota. “There was no evidence of Kylese Perryman’s involvement in these crimes.”

Earlier in June in a similar case, a state of New Jersey appellate court ruled the New York Police Department must provide the court with accuracy rates of the department’s face recognition code and show how its software identified Francisco Arteaga in a serious crime.

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