Today - faces, tomorrow - thoughts
You know it's only a matter of time before you're imprisoned for thinking about committing a crime, or even just committing a thought crime.
Concerns regarding the secret use of facial recognition technology at the recent Download Festival were absolutely spot on, said surveillance camera commissioner Tony Porter, speaking at the Security Twenty 15 conference last week. Leaked by a Police Oracle interview published a week ahead of schedule, and picked up by The …
"Hell, let's be honest, they just don't want the proles thinking, full stop. Far too dangerous." -- Tony S
"The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable." -- H L Mencken
I have yet to meet a polis who understands that "fishing expeditions" are wrong.
When I was at university, "being a student" was justifiable grounds for being the target of illegal police surveillance. Producing the annual student concert earned the producer a file at one of the security organs.
Downloads, heavy metal, bikes, gangs - sounds like a good opportunity to flesh out the photo album, pick up some bail defaulters......... you get the drift.
When I was at university, "being a student" was justifiable grounds for being the target of illegal police surveillance
"Being a student" surely must not be grounds for being targeted. Then again, when I was at university, some of our activities indeed would have been justifiable grounds for being monitored legally by police - and that wasn't for e.g. being a subversive student somewhere in China. The plods didn't, but that was a different time. Also no reason for anon as it's been certainly a long enough time since.
@Allan George Dyer
1./2. Don't know for sure but some less careful fellows were and subsequently were questioned by incompetent* plods. No charges ever.
*incompetent regarding IT matters
3. I didn't change my identity since then. You probably might have guessed that evil auditor isn't my real name ;)
Unrelated, a file that probably still exists is with the Scottish police which questioned me over some allegedly sensitive photos I've taken. They still keep a film roll of mine, which they were supposed to return around 10 years ago. I'm looking at you, Aberdeenshire police. Oh well, maybe it wasn't so interesting to look at 36 unexposed frames...
That's not the question - they promised to send it back! And if you can't trust the plods, whom in the world could you trust?!
Seriously, there's a reason why they got an empty film ;-) And after 10 years, with a brief exception having lived all outside the UK, might be getting a bit difficult to link the address they have to me today.
The odd thing is, apart from occasional recreational drug use, heavy metal fans and students are generally very law abiding groups*. They're not, at least in my experience, the sort of people you catch starting fights in pubs or burgling houses.
*YMMV with biker gangs.
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At my fellow AC re: Slipknot being jihadists
I have a friend who is into his metal and who sports a fairly impressive beard. He was living in a part of town with a significant Muslim population and was asked by a Muslim neighbor if it was a religious beard so I guess some metalists are already at risk of radicalisation. Let's hope the police don't run their footage through Google's image recognition algorithm otherwise my mate is on his way to Guantanamo.
Somewhere between Peel and now, people have forgotten what his principles were for; policing by CONSENT
To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police
Long time since that was true. The police have often abused their powers, even to the extent of acting against one of their own, eg Stalker being suspended during his 'shoot to kill' investigation into the RUC & MI5. Using the police as hired thugs during the miner's strike also springs to mind, as does the Hillsborough disaster. In all of these cases they weren't acting in the public interest and the level of distrust within the respective communities increased. Why would they care about a bunch of heavy metal fans?
Nonsense! 10% of the public are always guilty. That is why the Romans used to kill off 10% from time to time: decimation, they called it. Poor understanding of probability, though. If they decimated at random, that would still leave 9% for next time.
Seriously, not all the public are innocent. But in Britain we prefer the police not to make that too obvious.
"that would still leave 9% for the next time." No, it would, on average, still leave 10%. Assume 100 people, of whom 10 are bad. Take away 10 random people. Although both the population and sample sizes are rather small for this, you would have 90 people left, likely 9 of which are bad, which would still be 10%. Statistics are poorly understood by many people, no need to add to it.
So, at the risk of many downvotes..... I don't get what the problem is?
Facial recognition software? So? Its not a new thing.... We just used to sit meat bags in front of screens before this. Ya know, to recognize people?
Saves money if you let a computer do the scanning, rather than a bunch of people. I'm all for it.
Now.... Where's my mask?
> Saves money if you let a computer do the scanning, rather than a bunch of people. I'm all for it.
For exactly the same reason that we don't let government departments share data because having meatbags do it provides a natural friction which makes "fishing trips" impractical.
Try explaining to a speed camera that there were reasonable, extenuating circumstances why you were, at that point in time, slightly over the speed limit, which any normal, reasonable person would understand and let pass.
Automated systems are not reasonable which is why they attract so much ire from the public.
You might have a small point of contention if we could be sure that these cameras were just looking for known troublemakers. But I bet your bottom dollar that they're also keeping a record of everyone they saw, where they were and when they were seen. Just for safety you understand.
It's all in the context then, the way I see it, they could just be using the software to automatically track targets through all the footage, where I work, we have about 30 cameras and tracking someone through them all is a pain. If I could highlight a person as they walk in, and then just have the software track them automatically, it would save me an incredible amount of time.
Imagine doing the same, in a crowd of thousands, with hundreds of cameras,over a huge area?
If they are just recognizing, recording and storing..... To what end? What is the purpose? I literally can't think of anything negative, I'm not defending the police, maybe I've succumbed to the brainwashing, but I really don't see the big deal?
That the police should not be hoovering up personally identifiable data on the general public because it is against national data protection policy, that's why the ICO has stepped in. Given the number of data protection infringements admitted to by the police where officers have abused access to police systems for personal reasons and that the police have historically been involved in dubious political intelligence operations against perfectly innocent members of the public I think it's a good thing to keep their powers of surveillance in check.
You seem to be assuming that if you've nothing to hide then you've nothing to worry about. This is not always the case and I've little doubt that this technology will be used widely by the boys in blue. Having this data stored (and it will be) and linked to other datasets will allow unprecedented levels of intrusion into the lives of us all.
Speaking as someone who has previously been subjected to random stop and searches for no good reason other than the way I looked I am certain that inferences will be drawn and innocent people will be at risk of guilt by association. Fancy a one way trip to Guantanamo bay anyone?
"Facial recognition software? So? Its not a new thing.... We just used to sit meat bags in front of screens before this. Ya know, to recognize people?"
People watching security cameras tend to spot people doing wrong things, like starting fights, pickpocketing, sexual assault, etc. and send police to the scene to deal with it.
Facial recognition software... records and stores faces.
So if a victim comes forward later, they can be shown a multitude of faces that match their verbal description, and get pressured into picking one, more or less at random.
Cops are happy either way, as they get to make an arrest.
So yes, for police, Facial recognition software is cheaper and easier.
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