Facial recognition fails! Wrong man arrested, jailed for days


An online report from Reclaim the Net is illustrating the problems with facial recognition software.

“Another story about low accuracy from the privacy-invasive tech,” the report said. “Facial recognition technology is under scrutiny again after the technology led to the mistaken arrest of a man in Georgia on a fugitive warrant out of a state he has never been to.”


The report said it was in November that Randall Reid, 28, was taken into custody by police in DeKalb County, Georgia, when officials in Louisiana used facial recognition to claim he was linked to the theft of costly purses.

Reid explained, “They told me I had a warrant out of Jefferson Parish. I said, ‘What is Jefferson Parish?’ I have never been to Louisiana a day in my life. Then they told me it was for theft. So not only have I not been to Louisiana, I also don’t steal.”

It took authorities five days to figure out their mistake and release him.

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“The sheriff in Jefferson rescinded the warrant due to differences like a mole on Reid’s face. According to Reid’s lawyer, Tommy Calogero, there was also about a 40-pound difference between Reid and the purse thief in the surveillance image,” the report said.

Research has confirmed over and over the fallibility of facial recognition software, yet police agencies and many more continue to use it, often to an incorrect result.

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