CNet – Law enforcement is tapping the tech for low-level crimes like shoplifting, because there are no limits. But the tool often makes errors. “…The US has no federal regulations on facial recognition, leaving thousands of police departments to determine their own limits. Advocates say that’s a concern for civil liberties. While some members of Congress propose an indefinite nationwide ban on police use, other bills suggest it could still be allowed with a warrant, or they prevent only businesses from using it. Police often frame facial recognition as a necessary tool to solve the most heinous crimes, like terrorist attacks and violent assaults, but researchers have found that the technology is more frequently used for low-level offenses.
…In a recent court filing, the NYPD noted that it’s turned to facial recognition in more than 22,000 cases in the last three years. “Even though the NYPD claims facial recognition is only used for serious crimes, the numbers tell a different story,” said Albert Fox Cahn, the executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project. “As facial recognition continues to grow, it’s being routinely deployed for everything from shoplifting to graffiti.” Asked for comment, an NYPD spokeswoman pointed to a 2019 opinion article by police commissioner James O’Neill titled “How Facial Recognition Makes You Safer.” In the piece, O’Neill talked about how facial recognition had been used to make arrests in murder, robbery and rape cases, but he didn’t disclose how often it was used for low-level crimes…”