Facial Recognition by the Authorities

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Sweep
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby Sweep » 21 May 2019, 4:07pm

Bonefishblues wrote:The earlier link I posted suggested that it is highly application-specific, i.e. the algorithms vary in quality, but at its best it is now very reliable. It also suggests it's making great strides in terms of quality - one wouldn't expect otherwise in the current technological climate. Describing it as 'not accurate' is a generalisation.

There is a latent gender and racial bias, seemingly.

SF has indeed banned it - if anywhere was going to be in that vanguard, then SF's a likely candidate.

So what's to do? Is it the case that we should put this in a cupboard, just as the railway pioneers did when Huskisson was killed :D

To be clear, I am not saying this is fully resolved, but the way to deal with this is surely not for a random case to be brought under the Human Rights Act, we have to be more proactive than that, surely? Or is our legislature tied up with other matters, I wonder?


Sorry if I was perhaps a bit strong bonefish but I still think you are being blase.

Yes I do think a human rights act case should be brought. It is not a random case at all but very pertinent.

The authorities/police have massively mishandled this.

By just ploughing ahead with no regulation.

If the current non regulation and "screw your rights" situation goes on, we may as well tear up any privacy/data protection laws now and have done with it.

Yes the police are under resourced these days - that is why they need more than ever policing by consent.

Reduce the level of consent in society to policing and you will be talking crippling financial outlays.

The Stasi comes to mind - no and I am not exaggerating.

Reduce society to that level and you are not just talking mass trashing of human rights but economically crippling levels of surveillance.

The police are in my view being profoundly stupid.

I wish the very relevant human rights case well.
Sweep

Bonefishblues
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby Bonefishblues » 21 May 2019, 4:49pm

I'm not being blasé. I'm saying here's a technology with obvious potential, but already since the thread started here's the first test case, brought under one of our broadest pieces of legislation, which is wholly unsuited to weighing these matters.

We need, and I re, re, re-repeat to get with the times and the pace of technology change, or we'll either fail to take advantage of its potential, or worse still, bumble into a situation which is unsatisfactory for the citizen because our laws haven't kept pace. As is very obviously the case here, already!

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Sweep
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby Sweep » 21 May 2019, 4:52pm

Bonefishblues wrote:I'm not being blasé. I'm saying here's a technology with obvious potential, but already since the thread started here's the first test case, brought under one of our broadest pieces of legislation, which is wholly unsuited to weighing these matters.

We need, and I re, re, re-repeat to get with the times and the pace of technology change, or we'll either fail to take advantage of its potential, or worse still, bumble into a situation which is unsatisfactory for the citizen because our laws haven't kept pace. As is very obviously the case here, already!

But I repeat bonefish that it is being deployed with the broadest, ie no, regulation.
So in terms of civics it's back to the drawing board with this until they treat the population with respect.
And allow folk who have already had their details stolen to get them back.

Clever people can be very stupid, clever tech people more than most I fear.
Sweep

mercalia
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby mercalia » 21 May 2019, 4:58pm


Bonefishblues
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby Bonefishblues » 21 May 2019, 5:05pm

@ Sweep
I can see that. I'm absolutely not saying we crack on willy-nilly. It needs regulation, and we should be ashamed that we have nothing, nada, which even references it.

But I'm also saying that it's a technology with enormous potential. Policing by consent's great, but there's a layer of criminality that is effectively out of its scope, such is the level of fear and violence that accompanies it. Now there's a potential use, perhaps.

I'm not sure how to say what I'm saying any more plainly than that. Are we trying to have an argument about something where we essentially agree?

thirdcrank
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby thirdcrank » 23 May 2019, 7:58am

I don't understand policing by consent to mean that nobody can be investigated/ prosecuted unless they agree, but rather that policing needs to have the general support of the public. It's a bit of a slippery concept when you try to define it. Part of the problem is that it depends on a questionable division of society into the goodies and the baddies, but if the goodies are alienated, the baddies can shelter among them.

Re this technology, there seems to be no clear idea of what's happening and I suspect that's because there isn't one. At one end of the scale, it might be that Richard John Bingham DOB 18.12.34 is wanted on suspicion of murder so we have his mugshot - and perhaps a few informal snaps - in the database and if he saunters by without a mask, it's "Bingo: you are Lord Lucan and it may harm your defence ..... "

At the other end, a database might be made up of people who walk down the street.

From the current judicial review, Heddlu De Cymru - South Wales Police to you mate - is a leader in this. How does that work? One danger is that a number if different forces are all spending big money separately developing broadly similar technology but with little compatibility. (We've been there with a lot of earlier IT.)

Still with the technology, has there been any proper assessment of how good it is at present, or are we still experimenting? At the risk of thread drift, is it a bit like television detector vans: impress the easily impressed? I can't help feeling that if it had caught some elusive suspects or prison escapers we'd have been the first to know.

The judicial review has apparently been crowd funded. So much depends on the personnel on the day. If the appeal has raised enough £££ for a star QC and the Heddlu send somebody more used to planning applications, that might have a disproportionate result. Or they might splash out public money to get another legal eagle.

We have toothless watchdogs and omsbuddies for this type of thing. What are they doing?
===============================================================

PS SWP jingle is Cydweithio i ddiogelu De Cymru | Working together to keep South Wales Safe

Together with whom?

Bonefishblues
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby Bonefishblues » 23 May 2019, 8:07am

thirdcrank wrote:I don't understand policing by consent to mean that nobody can be investigated/ prosecuted unless they agree, but rather that policing needs to have the general support of the public. It's a bit of a slippery concept when you try to define it. Part of the problem is that it depends on a questionable division of society into the goodies and the baddies, but if the goodies are alienated, the baddies can shelter among them.

To expand on the point I made in my previous post, there are cases of serious criminality (Northern Ireland, until a journalist is killed, drugs, crime with serious violence, and others) which, whilst it is abhorred by the public, makes a nonsense of the concept of P by C because, put simply, nobody feels able to step forward and assist. We have to develop other methods of assembling evidence if we are to tackle these.
thirdcrank wrote:re this technology, there seems to be no clear idea of what's happening and I suspect that's because there isn't one. At one end of the scale, it might be that Richard John Bingham DOB 18.12.34 is wanted on suspicion of murder so we have his mugshot - and perhaps a few informal snaps - in the database and if he saunters by without a mask, it's "Bingo: you are Lord Lucan and it may harm your defence ..... "

At the other end, a database might be made up of people who walk down the street.

From the current judicial review, Heddlu De Cymru - South Wales Police to you mate - is a leader in this. How does that work? One danger is that a number if different forces are all spending big money separately developing broadly similar technology but with little compatibility. (We've been there with a lot of earlier IT.)

Still with the technology, has there been any proper assessment of how good it is at present, or are we still experimenting? At the risk of thread drift, is it a bit like television detector vans: impress the easily impressed? I can't help feeling that if it had caught some elusive suspects or prison escapers we'd have been the first to know.

The judicial review has apparently been crowd funded. So much depends on the personnel on the day. If the appeal has raised enough £££ for a star QC and the Heddlu send somebody more used to planning applications, that might have a disproportionate result. Or they might splash out public money to get another legal eagle.

We have toothless watchdogs and omsbuddies for this type of thing. What are they doing?
===============================================================

PS SWP jingle is Cydweithio i ddiogelu De Cymru | Working together to keep South Wales Safe

Together with whom?

I completely agree. We have been sleeping. I fear that we will knee-jerk (again).

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Cugel
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby Cugel » 23 May 2019, 10:28am

Might I remind of the Panopticon - the notion of a technological facility of some sort that may observe every act (and, these days, thought) of those who are it's subjects but in which the authorities operating it cannot themselves be observed by those subjects.

The argument for and against have been rehearsed by many a philosopher, sociologist, psychologist and every other -gist since Jeremy Bentham and before. The central issue is this: who observes the observers? What prevents them abusing the Panopticon abilities and powers?

A Panoptican is a Stasi-like tool. It spies on you to discover more about you than you know of yourself. The Stasi believed that such observation-in-depth of the subjects was for the good of all. Their belief was that it stopped rogue social elements from harming the status quo, which is just the right way for things to be.

If a Stasi and it's political masters were truly benign, the assumption that mass observation (followed by individual corrective or preventative actions on them) might be true. It would still allow individuals to be diverse to a large degree still conformant with everyone enjoying their various rights to do or be different from others. But the nature of such absolute power as is given by a Panopticon tends to persuade the observers using it that any act of the observed deviating from a very narrow range of approved behaviours merits correction or prevention.

There's another big change in Panopticon-driven crime prevention in that it ceases to be largely corrective (after the fact of a crime, as we have now) and becomes much more preventive (before the fact of a crime). People observed to be showing supposed precursors of criminal behaviour may be rounded up and "corrected" even if they haven't actually committed a crime. This is the mode of totalitarian States everywhere.

*****
So, do you trust the UK advocates of a super-Panoptican to employ it only in a benign fashion? Many will say, "Yes, as I have done nothing wrong". But the issue is that things that are wrong may increase hugely, as the power of the Panopticon corrupts the observers into increasing and operating their powerful new facility to exert a tremendous control over all who they begin to view as dangerous deviants from their own preferred modes of thinking, belief and behaviour.

Imagine Mrs Thatcher with a Panopticon......

Cugel

thirdcrank
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby thirdcrank » 23 May 2019, 8:42pm

I think the panopticon analogy applies more to all the closed-circuit television systems installed in the last couple of decades in that they may or may not be operational, in a wide meaning of that expression.

Having said that, in today's Daily Telegraph and on other sites there are reports that the Chinese company Hikvision is to be blacklisted by Trump on the grounds that it covertly uses this technology in its CCTV systems. The Daily T suggests that the company already supplies a lot of public CCTV systems in the UK.

I've tried to link but the Daily T story is behind the paywall and the others have various hoops to go through.

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Cugel
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby Cugel » 23 May 2019, 10:28pm

thirdcrank wrote:I think the panopticon analogy applies more to all the closed-circuit television systems installed in the last couple of decades in that they may or may not be operational, in a wide meaning of that expression.

Having said that, in today's Daily Telegraph and on other sites there are reports that the Chinese company Hikvision is to be blacklisted by Trump on the grounds that it covertly uses this technology in its CCTV systems. The Daily T suggests that the company already supplies a lot of public CCTV systems in the UK.

I've tried to link but the Daily T story is behind the paywall and the others have various hoops to go through.


CCTV and similar technology is but one aspect of the panopticon notion. To be effective, the panopticon must enable the observers to judge the observed individuals, which means knowing who they are: face recognition and other technological identifying apparatus and procedures are also required. Moreover, it's preferable if the observed don't know if they're being observed or not but believe there's a good chance that they are. Face recognition vastly increases the chance of a person of interest being observed.

A CCTV of itself can record lots of public acts; but without face recognition, it requires a policeman with an special kind of ability for memorising faces to pick one out - not a practical proposition for a true panopticon. Face recognition technology can automatically find and report you driving your car, in the shop, in the street and even in your home, via your webcam, which isn't yours after all.

Nor will it stop with the automation of face recognition. Already GCHQ computers automatically parse phone conversations and emails for naughty words or phrases. The face recognition technology will soon include the ability to recognise facial expressions, gestures or body postures as well, many of which will be worked up by psychologists and criminologists into a schema of risky types. Have the "wrong" colour face, making the "wrong" expression whilst in the "wrong" place and gesturing "wrongly .....

As with all technology, the nature of the beast is a great influence on human behaviours and beliefs. If you have the ability to do enormous amounts of highly-detailed panopticonning, you will look for ways to use that information, as well as the means to improve the panopticon. "To a man who has a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail". And when a pneumatic hammer can be made, well! And when the man with the pneumatic hammer also greatly enjoys hammering .....

Cugel, just a very small tack.

mercalia
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby mercalia » 24 May 2019, 8:29am

so its happening?
The Watchdog steps in :D
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... GTUK_email

Bonefishblues
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby Bonefishblues » 24 May 2019, 8:40am

Why do we have a government and an administration, I wonder...

Arguably it was the much-maligned media wot dunnit.

thirdcrank
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby thirdcrank » 24 May 2019, 5:41pm

This just shows how slapdash is our system. After this has been going on for several years, an aggrieved member of the public manages to crowd-fund a judicial review and instruct (pay) a top learned friend. The watchdoggy sends along another top learned friend to say the legal situation is a mess (my layman's wording.)

The Dep of South Wales Police says they welcomed the review.

https://chambers.com/profile/individual ... nTypeId=14
https://www.matrixlaw.co.uk/member/dan-squires/

As Flanders and Swann might have remarked "It all makes work ...."

binvius
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby binvius » 28 May 2019, 2:13pm

I saw this on BBC Click recently and it is concerning we might be heading in the same direction as China.

mercalia
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Re: Facial Recognition by the Authorities

Postby mercalia » 1 Jun 2019, 8:24pm

People here might to listen to a Podcast talking to Brian Hofer from San Francisko, who is the prime mover there that led to the ban of facial recognition in that city

https://twit.tv/shows/triangulation/epi ... tart=false

by the way that particular podcast has some very celebrated quests and maybe worth making a book mark to the home page to keep tabs on other issues involving tech

He made one very good point - we never get less surveillance only more - so if facial recognition is allowed it will become as present as are the ccctv currently all around the place?