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As Scotland Yard rolls out facial-recognition technology to identify alleged London rioters, some U.K. Web developers are trying for the same results with off-the-shelf software.
They’ve created an application using face.com’s API, a tool that allows developers to build face tracking into their own programs, to help name suspected troublemakers.
But success has so far eluded them, and the project has landed the developers, loosely organized as a Google group called “London Riots Facial Recognition,” in ethically-iffy territory.
The technology is rarely effective with fuzzy images, such as those taken from CCTV cameras, which is what the group has been using, said a programmer who asked not to be identified.
While testing their app, “it got a monkey mixed up with a person,” said another developer, who also declined to be named. He pegged the accuracy of matches at less than 40 per cent, adding that the group’s members all have other jobs and don’t have the time or money to properly develop the app.
LONDON (AP) — Facial recognition technology being considered for London’s 2012 Games is getting a workout in the wake of Britain’s riots, a senior police chief told The Associated Press, with officers feeding photographs of suspects through Scotland Yard’s newly updated face-matching program.
Chief Constable Andy Trotter of the British Transport Police said Thursday the sophisticated software was being used to help find those suspected of being involved in the worst unrest London has seen in a generation.