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Crime

Chicago Robber Caught By Facial Recognition Sentenced To 22 Years 143

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the we're-always-watching dept.
mpicpp (3454017) writes with this excerpt from Ars: "The first man to be arrested in Chicago based on facial recognition analysis was sentenced last week to 22 years in prison for armed robbery. ... In February 2013, Pierre Martin robbed a man at gunpoint while on a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train. After taking the man's phone, Martin jumped off the train. However, his image was captured by CTA surveillance cameras and was then compared to the Chicago Police Department's database of 4.5 million criminal booking images. Martin, who already had priors, had a mugshot in the database. He was later positively identified by witnesses. At trial, Martin also admitted to committing a similar robbery also on the Pink Line in January 2013—his face was captured during both robberies."
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Chicago Robber Caught By Facial Recognition Sentenced To 22 Years

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  • My two cents (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2014 @05:47PM (#47198683)

    Imagine this scenario: I don't know if this person did it, but if the facial recognition software says it's true, it must be him. "Yes, officer, that's the guy."

  • Re:Fingerprints (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anubis IV (1279820) on Monday June 09, 2014 @06:12PM (#47198785)

    I agree, but I think there's another concern here as well: false positives are significantly more dangerous than with other fingerprinting techniques. If DNA samples or fingerprints provide false positives, we have (admittedly error-prone) eyewitnesses as a final layer of defense, and since people who look entirely different can have similar fingerprints or DNA signatures, it's likely that the people look nothing alike. Not so with facial recognition, since a false positive is likely to be close enough to a true positive that it will be incorrectly affirmed by eyewitnesses, even if the authorities don't bias them by telling them that the guy was a match.

    None of which is to say that I think we should stop using it, since it is a valuable tool. I merely think that it needs to be used with an understanding of its faults and taken with the grain of salt it deserves.

  • Wear a balaclava (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GrahamCox (741991) on Monday June 09, 2014 @06:27PM (#47198867) Homepage
    Maybe he deserved this, sounds like it.

    But it doesn't justify the mass surveillance being put in all over our public spaces. It can't even be justified on the cost, but far worse is the erosion of your freedom to go about your business without being tracked and monitored permanently. It might catch the odd transgressor, but that is not an acceptable enough reason to piss away all our privacy.

    Oh but you have nothing to hide, so what? Well, it was Joseph Goebbels who first made that pithy remark about having nothing to fear, and look where that ended up - many perfectly innocent people had everything to fear.

    The only reasonable response to mass CCTV is for everyone to wear a balaclava. Once the system is rendered useless, they might reconsider spending taxpayer's money on it. And it sends a strong message that we simply don't want to be tracked, even if we are not criminals.

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