Amazon’s Facial Recognition Misidentified 1 in 5 California Lawmakers as Criminals

The ACLU tested Rekognition, Amazon’s facial recognition technology, on photographs of California lawmakers. It matched 26 of them to mugshots. From a report: In a recent test of Amazon’s facial recognition software, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California revealed that it mistook 26 California lawmakers as people arrested for crimes. The ACLU used Rekognition, Amazon’s facial recognition software, to evaluate 120 photos of lawmakers against a database of 25,000 arrest photos, ACLU attorney Matt Cagle said at a press conference on Tuesday. One in five lawmaker photographs were falsely matched to mugshots, exposing the frailties of an emerging technology widely adopted by law enforcement. The ACLU used the default Rekognition settings, which match identity at 80 percent confidence, Cagle said. Assembly member Phil Ting was among those whose picture was falsely matched to an arrest photo. He’s also an active advocate for limiting facial recognition technology: in February, he introduced a bill, co-sponsored by the ACLU, that bans the use of facial recognition and other biometric surveillance on police-worn body cameras.

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