Police used controversial facial recognition more than 2,000 times

Scotland Yard has been forced to impose a ban on use of facial recognition technology from PimEyes by Metropolitan police officers, who have already accessed the software thousands of times.

A Freedom of Information request from iNews found that the facial recognition search engine PimEyes was visited from Met Police computers over 2,330 times. 

It is unclear exactly how many of those times constitute a use of facial recognition matching or biometric tools for digital identification purposes.

The only facial recognition tools currently approved for use by the Met are restricted to watchlists and subject to formal approvals.

PimEyes’ facial recognition system excludes results from social media and video platforms, but uses AI to map facial proportions and match them with photos of an individual found on any site on the open internet. 

That means officers using it in the legal gray zone can cast a much wider net with facial recognition searches.

PimEyes is based in Georgia, and is not covered by formal regulations.


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