Detroit Police Department agrees to limit facial recognition tech

  • New policies prohibit arresting suspects based on facial recognition results, only if there is evidence linking suspect to the crime.
  • New policy is an effort to protect citizens’ rights and privacy, as well as a wake-up call to the misuse of facial recognition tech.

The January 2020 arrest of Robert Williams, the first documented case of wrongful detention based on facial recognition technology in the United States, is the reason for this new rule. Until now, police have increasingly relied on artificial intelligence systems to investigate, despite their potential threats to privacy and racial bias.
–Zora Lin, BTW reporter

What happened

As part of a legal settlement, the Detroit Police Department has agreed to create new police lines that limit the way it uses facial recognition technology on June 28. These new policies prohibit police from arresting suspects based solely on the results of facial recognition searches, only if there is other evidence linking the suspect to the crime.

At the same time, the new policy requires police officers to be trained on the risks and dangers of facial recognition technology and to conduct an audit of all cases in which facial recognition technology has been used to obtain arrest warrants since 2017.

Earlier, Robert Williams, a black man, was arrested after his driver’s license photo was mislabeled as a shoplifting man caught on surveillance camera at a luxury watch store in 2018. The new rules were included in a lawsuit settlement with the victim, Robert Williams. The police department will also pay Williams $300,000.

Cities such as San Francisco have banned the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement. Microsoft also recently banned police departments from using its AI technology for facial recognition.

Also read: Mobile edge computing: Definition, examples and future

Also read: AI in cybersecurity: Challenges and opportunities

Why it’s important

Facial recognition technology, while convenient, can be a miscarriage of justice, resulting in innocent people being harmed. The new policy, which prohibits police from arresting suspects based solely on the search results of facial recognition technology, is a prevention of incidents like Williams’ and an important protection of human rights.

Training the police on the risks and dangers of facial recognition technology can help enhance the professionalism and awareness of the police, avoid blind reliance on artificial intelligence technology, and be more cautious when using it. Tech companies also need to work hard to ensure that their products and technologies are not abused and to promote the healthy development of technology.

Although cities such as San Francisco have banned the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement, this does not mean that the technology is without value, the key is how to ensure that its use is reasonable and fair. The new policy provides reference and reference for how to rationally use facial recognition technology.


Zora Lin

Zora Lin is an intern news reporter at Blue Tech Wave specialising in Products and AI. She graduated from Chang’an University. Send tips to

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *