New Orleans police have been using facial recognition for more than a year, but the technology hasn’t had much of an influence on the city’s violent crime crisis, writes Gizmodo.
According to Datalytics’ Quarterly Public Safety Review, there were no arrests of any person here that could be identified through facial recognition from October 1, 2022 to July 1, 2023. In other words, facial recording helped the police catch zero swindlers. The data that supports this disappointing assessment comes from the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) itself.
Facial recognition, which uses sophisticated cameras to scan people’s faces and compare their characteristics to known criminals, has been recognized by law enforcement as an important tool in arresting violent criminals. But questions remain about the technology’s accuracy and effectiveness, and privacy advocates have widely criticized the tool for its negative impact on society.
In 2020, New Orleans became one of the several cities where local governments voted to ban the use of facial recognition by police. This decision was perceived as a great victory for defenders of civil liberties.
However, the ban was lifted in less than two years. The city council then voted to allow limited use of the technology when police were investigating “crimes of violence” or trying to identify a missing person.