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Automatic Facial Recognition (AFR) technology was used to identify then arrest a man in the UK

Police in South Wales, in the UK, have used Automatic Facial Recognition (AFR) technology to arrest a man. Obviously this is an ongoing case so some of the details of the arrest are a little sparse.

What we do know though, is that the police force had declared that they would be testing out and utilizing facial recognition technology ahead of the UEFA Champions League football final which was played on the 3rd of June.

The intention to start using such tech had been made clear by the force, and according to the image provided, we do see the South Wales Police using a van fitted with cameras used for facial recognition.

They said they would be deploying the tools in large public spaces, points of interest, in order to increase safety and attempt to prevent crimes before they happen, by identifying known criminals or those who are wanted. The South Wales Police have made statements in the past declaring their strong interest in utilizing the facial recognition technology on a wider scale.

It is not entirely clear whether this will mean future body cams or perhaps every piece of police or surveillance equipment could become fitted with this recognition capacity.

A request for information from the police force did reveal that the man who was arrested did have his face recorded and kept in the Niche Record Management system; this database contains 500,000 custody images.

This application of tech to the security sector is certainly similar to the proposal being made to make a digital version of Trump's Mexico wall, that might also use facial recognition technology.

As this police force continues to test and utilize this technology and other police forces across the UK become interested, more will become apparent about whose faces shall be recorded, by who, and generally how it may be used.

Source: Ars Technica | Images via Gizmodo

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