“The New York Police Department used a photo of Woody Harrelson in its facial recognition program in an attempt to identify a beer thief who looked like the actor,” reports the Associated Press:
Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology highlighted the April 2017 episode in “Garbage In, Garbage Out,” a report on what it says are flawed practices in law enforcement’s use of facial recognition. The report says security footage of the thief was too pixelated and produced no matches while high-quality images of Harrelson, a three-time Oscar nominee, returned several possible matches and led to one arrest.
The NYPD also used a photo of a New York Knicks player to search its database for a man wanted for a Brooklyn assault, the report said.
“The stakes are too high in criminal investigations to rely on unreliable â” or wrong â” inputs,” Georgetown researcher Clare Garvie wrote…. The Georgetown report says facial recognition has helped the NYPD crack about 2,900 cases in more than five years of using the technology.
And in Florida, Vice reports, law enforcement agencies “run roughly 8,000 of these searches per month.”