The new lawsuit that shows facial recognition is officially a civil rights issue | MIT Technology Review
Robert Williams, who was wrongfully arrested because of a faulty facial recognition match, is asking for the technology to be banned.
The news: On January 9, 2020, Detroit Police wrongfully arrested a Black man named Robert Williams due to a bad match from their department’s facial recognition system. Two more instances of false arrests have since been made public. Both are also Black men, and both have taken legal action to try rectifying the situation. Now Williams is following in their path and going further—not only by suing the Detroit Police for his wrongful arrest, but by trying to get the technology banned.
The details: On Tuesday, the ACLU and the University of Michigan Law School’s Civil Rights Litigation Initiative filed a lawsuit on behalf of Williams, alleging that his arrest violated Williams’s Fourth Amendment rights and was in defiance of Michigan’s civil rights law. The suit requests compensation, greater transparency about the use of facial recognition, and that the Detroit Police Department stop using all facial recognition technology, either directly or indirectly.
The significance: Racism within American law enforcement makes the use of facial recognition, which has been proven to misidentify Black people at much higher rates, even more concerning.