The face recognition algorithm used by the local roller skating rink in Detroit does not allow teenager Lamya Robinson to enter the premises, accusing her of a previous fight at the facility.
But Robinson had never even visited the field.
The facial recognition system had mismatched him with another patron, he said Fox 2 Detroit. The track removed him from the building and took him out alone, his family says.
“For me, it’s basically racial profiling,” Mom Juliea Robinson told the TV station. “You’re just saying that every young black, brown girl with glasses fits the profile, and that’s not right.”
The disadvantages of facial recognition systems introduced by companies and the police have slowly come to the fore as the technology is used more. Research on these algorithms has shown that they are much less accurate in distinguishing the faces of black people, women, and children, which may help explain the error Lamya Robinson faced.
The highest case of facial recognition that led to false arrest was also in the case of Robert Williams in Detroit. Williams was arrested and detained for 30 hours January 2020, when he was accused of stealing Shinola watches. He witness before Parliament’s Judicial Committee and calls on the legislators to accept the suspension of technology legislation in June 2020.
“I don’t want anyone to walk away from my testimony thinking that if only the technology were refined, its problems would be solved,” Williams said in his testimony. “Even if this technology becomes exact at the expense of people like me, I don’t want my daughter’s face to be part of any state database.”
The difference in racial and gender accuracy and the invasiveness of technology have led to bans on civil society organizations and politicians. The American Alliance of Civil Liberties has called for national bans and has sues the Detroit Police Department On behalf of Williams for the misuse of technology. Some States like Maine have already begun to restrict the use of technology by the police. However, only in Portland, Oregon, there are currently laws that restrict how private companies can use facial recognition.
The non-profit Civil Rights Fight for the Future reported that more than 35 other organizations had joined retailers will stop using face recognition in their stores. The group reiterated its position today after a report on Lamya Robinson’s experience fired out of the rink.
“That’s why we think face recognition should be banned in public places,” Caitlin Seeley George, director of Campaign and Operations for Fight for the Future, wrote in a press release. “It’s also not hard to imagine what could have happened if the police had been called to the scene and how they could have acted on the basis of this false information.”