Police body-cam maker halts launch of 'unreliable' facial recognition technology

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By Euronews with AFP
Police body-cam maker halts launch of 'unreliable' facial recognition technology
Copyright  Pixerbay

The maker of the majority of US police equipment Axon has decided against launching facial recognition on its body cameras after an ethics committee found the technology "not yet reliable enough".

The firm, previously known as Taser, said it made the decision to scrap the face matching technology following a report by its board of directors.

"Current face matching technology raises serious ethical concerns," chief executive and founder Rick Smith said in a statement.

"In addition, there are technological limitations to using this technology on body cameras. Consistent with the board's recommendation, Axon will not be commercialising face matching products on our body cameras at this time."

However, Smith said Axon's Artificial Intelligence team would continue to evaluate the state of face recognition technologies and would keep the board informed of developments.

The technology has the potential to reveal identities by scanning a person's face to create an algorithm that is compared against a database.

However, activists warn of the possibility for mismatches, which could cause error when used in law enforcement.