Earlier this week, here on The Inquisitr, we reported how the NSA is collecting millions of pictures from the internet for their facial recognition database. Most of these pictures are collected mostly from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, along with unused profiles on Myspace and dating sites. Apparently, the facial recognition database is to help catch criminals and today, it has proven useful.
According to a report by Chicago Sun Times, facial recognition technology has identified a man for armed robbery. With the help of the tech, Chicago police were able to arrest the man and sentence him to 22 years in a state prison. The robber, Pierre D. Martin, can now blame his mug for getting him behind bars. Not only that, he is the first person to be arrested with the facial recognition technology, which the Chicago police started implementing last year. Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, had this to say in a statement:
“This is a great example that these high-tech tools are helping to enhance identification and lead us to defendants that might otherwise evade capture.”
The judge found Pierre D. Martin guilty of robbing a 20-year-old man listening to music on headphones on a Pink Line train on February 9, 2013. At that time, Martin – a convicted felon – approached the victim, pulled a gun on him, and demanded his cellular phone. Prosecutors state when the train started to move again at the 1900 block of South Kostner station, Pierre D. Martin escaped. Apparently, he was candid on surveillance cameras, which is all the facial recognition technology needs to compare one-to-one with faces.
The facial recognition technology compared the surveillance tapes to Pierre D. Martin’s mug shots, due to his long history of arrests, which includes an aggravated unlawful use of a weapon 2009 and possession of a stolen motor vehicle in 2006.
However, the facial recognition technology, that cost $5.4 million federal grant (meaning the people bought it) just caught its first assailant. If this technology is supposed to recognize faces from surveillance cameras, social media sites, and even mug shots, should it have caught the Martin earlier than this? And it still isn’t full-proof too.
In another report by BND, facial recognition technology may have worked in bringing in Pierre D. Martin, but in the end, it took witness identification in a photo lineup for justice to be served. Even with its initial flaws, facial recognition identification played a major part in this situation. Although there might be a dilemma on privacy. Besides, it was Benjamin Franklin who once said:
“Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”
[Image via Bing]