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Live facial recognition is tracking kids suspected of being criminals

 — 9 octobre 2020
In Buenos Aires, the first known system of its kind is hunting down minors who appear in a national database of alleged offenders.

In a national database in Argentina, tens of thousands of entries detail the names, birthdays, and national IDs of people suspected of crimes. The database, known as the Consulta Nacional de Rebeldías y Capturas (National Register of Fugitives and Arrests), or CONARC, began in 2009 as a part of an effort to improve law enforcement for serious crimes. Now a new investigation from Human Rights Watch has found that not only are children regularly added to CONARC, but the database also powers a live facial recognition system in Buenos Aires deployed by the city government. This makes the system likely the first known instance of its kind being used to hunt down kids suspected of criminal activity.

The system has since led to numerous false arrests (links in Spanish), which the police have no established protocol for handling. There seems to be no mechanism to be able to correct mistakes in either the algorithm or the database. It’s deeply concerning, but adding children to the equation makes matters that much worse.


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