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The London Riots and Facial Recognition Technology 482

Posted by Soulskill
from the digital-mobs-fighting-real-mobs dept.
nonprofiteer writes "A bunch of vigilantes are organizing a Google Group dedicated to using recently revealed facial recognition tools to identify looters in the London riots. While Vancouver discussed doing something similar after the Stanley Cup riots, the city never actually moved forward on it. Ring of Steel London, though, is far more likely to incorporate FRT into its investigative work." A related article points out how development of face-recognition technology has been kept under wraps by some organizations, but we're getting to the point where it'll soon be ubiquitous.
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The London Riots and Facial Recognition Technology

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  • If Only... (Score:4, Informative)

    by IonOtter (629215) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @02:57AM (#37041092) Homepage

    If only this technology were JUST going to be used on a bunch of minging neds and chavs, I'd have no problem with it.

    But it'll be used for everyone all too soon.

    Ah well, in the meantime, I'll be only too happy to watch a bunch of warbling brats get their arses handed to them by the cops.

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @03:06AM (#37041128) Homepage Journal
    Yes massive cost cutting and "positional asphyxia" over the years "Deaths in police custody since 1998: 333; officers convicted: none"
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/03/deaths-police-custody-officers-convicted [guardian.co.uk]
    http://cryptome.org/info/totten-protest/totten-protest-01.htm [cryptome.org]
    The Darcus Howe interview with the BBC is very telling too.
  • by mikejuk (1801200) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @03:54AM (#37041316)
    I think that the idea that these fashions will catch on to stop day to day facial recognition quite reasonable. See: CV Dazzle [i-programmer.info]
  • by smallfries (601545) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @06:02AM (#37041888) Homepage

    Why on earth would your beliefs be in any way relevant? Are you aware that the machine in front of you allows you to search for information so that you can test your beliefs. Shocking, eh?

    A member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate)

    The key point of the definition is that a vigilante takes extra-legal action; a vigilante is one who acts outside of the existing legal framework. Publishing the identity of the looters is not operating outside of the law. In fact it actually supports the official effort to identify looters from video shot during the riots. Only acting on the identities to go and mete out some kind of illegal retribution would be vigilante action, and as there is no suggestion that they will do so the use of the word is loaded as the GP originally stated.

  • by digitig (1056110) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @06:14AM (#37041936)
    In fairness, most of those deaths are not suspicious. You'd expect some deaths in police custody just from random natural causes, and when you factor in the fact that people in police custody are more likely than the population at large to be long-term drug or alcohol abusers (and so are likely to have increased mortality) the numbers are not particularly surprising. Yes, some of the deaths are suspicious but only a very small proportion of them. If you read the Guardian article you'll see that only 13 officers have been recommended for prosecution; since they usually work in pairs or teams that means something like 6 cases, not 333. Even if you take in the cases that were suspicious but the CPS couldn't get enough evidence you are still way below the 333 cited.

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