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Man was wrongly arrested for facial recognition software, talking about “humiliation” experience



Robert Williams was detained at the Detroit Detention Center for more than a day in January after an incorrect facial recognition contest led to his arrest in January. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, this is the first such case in the United States. Case.

This experience has always been with him.

Williams told NBC News in a television interview: “I feel empty.” “Humiliation is the only word I think of. I am ashamed of being arrested.”

Williams is a black man who was mistaken for a person arrested in October 201

8 at a Shinola watch store in Detroit for surveillance video shoplifting. The Michigan State Police used a company called DataWorks’ facial recognition software, which draws on the number one calculation in NEC and video.

The system incorrectly marked Williams’ driver’s license photo as a race, leading to his arrest. The American Civil Liberties Union claims that this is the first known illegal arrest in the United States due to facial recognition technology.

Williams was arrested in front of the driveway of his home in front of his wife and young daughter and detained for nearly 30 hours. He said he was released after the police officer told him that there was a problem with the computer.

He said he didn’t know why he was arrested, and investigators didn’t tell him the details of the alleged crime-nearly $4,000 in store goods until the next day.

He said: “I was just locked up, I don’t know why it was there.” “Before anyone asked me a question, I was fingerprinted and shot… This is the reason for the rush to make a judgment.”

The complaint about Williams’ experience was triggered after a widespread protest in Minneapolis against the killing of George Freud by the police, which triggered a nationwide review of the treatment of black Americans by the police and general Surveillance and policing strategies.

Williams’s arrest operation was first publicly released on Wednesday. Meanwhile, facial recognition technology is undergoing rigorous scrutiny by technical experts, activists and lawmakers as part of a rethinking of the US police movement.

Civil liberties and human rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have long criticized facial recognition software for its inherent racial and gender biases and violations of constitutional rights. Williams also claimed that his arrest was due to racism.

On Thursday, Congress passed a legislation banning federal law enforcement agencies from using facial recognition and other biometric technologies. The bill also stipulates that state and local law enforcement agencies can receive federal funding only if a similar ban is issued.

IBM, Amazon and Microsoft have all recently stated that they are suspending or abandoning the sale of facial recognition technology.

Williams said that although this was a wrong arrest, he still did not apologize for the incident. He said he just thought about how the arrest would turn into a skin. Both he and his wife said they thought of other black men who died in the hands of the police when they were arrested.

His wife Melissa said: “He is a big black man, and we have seen it for many years, and the interaction with the police is often not smooth.” “This is definitely something I have been thinking about. What is happening is under consideration. Even if we provide very little information, he has the right to debate or fight. He did keep very calm, I am proud of him and keep calm, but I don’t think we need to say that he stayed in prison 30 hours, we are lucky.”

The couple said they were also concerned that Williams’ arrest may have an “adverse effect” on their young daughter.

“When they pulled him and his police car away, we entered the house, and as soon as we entered the door, they looked out of the window. I think it shocked them because their father just pulled the car and they both started crying. “” Melissa said.

Their eldest daughter almost started hyperventilating and could not do her homework because she didn’t have a dad’s emotions, because her father usually helped her. The couple also said that they will never forget how Williams missed a small but important milestone while in police custody.

Williams said: “The first bite I came was not there.” “Even one day, I still miss the milestones in her life.”

“If used improperly, we will know that it will harm people. If used properly, we will know that it will only exacerbate the already racist and unjust criminal legal system.”

In a complaint filed with the Detroit Police on Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Association asked the police to stop using facial recognition. The organization said Williams’ experience proved that “the technology is flawed and investigators are not capable of using such technology.”

The No. 1 and Michigan State Police guidelines both state that facial expressions should not and are not intended to be used as a basis for arresting individuals.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said at a news conference on Thursday: “This is not accurate enough.” “Face recognition is not certain. It is not DNA. It will provide you with three to four images. , This is a clue, so you can start an investigation.”

Duggan said the incident was indeed a “very bad situation”, “related to the work of low-level detectives and low-level arrest warrant prosecutors,” but said it was inaccurate to reflect poorly on facial recognition software.

Dugen said: “I am very angry about the case. I apologize to Mr. Williams.” “For those who are arrested but should not be arrested, there is nothing else to say, no excuses. However, in DNA This type of problem exists early in the test. This type of problem occurred early in the ballistic test. What we need to do is to ensure that the technology is used correctly.”

William Burton-Harris, a lawyer for Williams, said: “If used improperly, we will know that it will hurt people.” “If used properly, we know that this will only exacerbate already racism. , An unjust criminal legal system. We don’t need an extra layer that complicates these unjust results.”

Burton-Harris said that this technique should not be used, and Williams’ case is a classic example of how unsafe and unreliable this technique is.

NEC and DataWorks did not respond to requests for comment. However, the number one CEO, Brendan Klare, said that the use of his company’s technology in the Williams case reportedly “violates established industry standard best practices.”

Clare said in an email: “The first person unreservedly opposes any misuse of facial recognition technology, including the reasons for the candidate competition that may lead to arrest.”

He added that when the number one behavior violates its ethical guidelines, the number one ranking will include revoking the legal methods used by its software, and it will review what other measures can be taken to prevent abuse.


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