TODAY |

Police to get advice around the use of facial recognition technology from two leading researchers

Police will get advice around the use of facial recognition technology from two leading researchers as the force continues to grapple with privacy, ethical, and human rights implications of the technology.

"We are interested in digging deeper to find out how police are using facial recognition technologies today, and how they can consider the use of new tools in the future," Dr Nessa Lynch said. Source: istock.com

The announcement comes after it was revealed last September that police used an emerging facial recognition technology without proper authorisation.

Police to get advice around the use of facial recognition technology from two leading researchers

Victoria University of Wellington’s Dr Nessa Lynch and Auckland University’s Dr Andrew Chen would explore what facial recognition technology meant for police, deputy chief executive of police insights and deployment, Mark Evans, said.

“Over the next six months Dr Lynch and Dr Chen will explore the current and possible future uses of facial recognition technology and what it means for policing in New Zealand communities,” he said.

Police force stats are 'shocking' when broken down by race, but nuances need to be studied, top cop says

“Facial recognition technology is a subject that draws strong interest, and sometimes distrust and controversy.

“Public interest, and police’s organisational understanding, will benefit from being informed by experts in the field, and research examining the issues with a New Zealand policing perspective.

Prejudiced AI systems could result in more Māori being arrested or falsely accused of crimes, expert warns

Evans said embedded facial recognition capabilities across a range of technologies were becoming more common and the work undertaken by Chen and Lynch would include:

• defining facial recognition technology

• categorising the spectrum of use and its potential effect on individual and collective rights and interests

Sir Kim Workman hopeful of solving police bias - 'I don’t want to die and not have this stuff worked out'

• exploring what police currently do in this space, and what planned and unused capability exists within the organisation

• providing insights and evidence into international practice and advantages for public safety and crime control, as well as Treaty of Waitangi, ethics, privacy and human rights implications

• producing advice and recommendations on the safe and appropriate use of facial recognition technology in New Zealand policing

Your playlist will load after this ad

The Government has struck a deal with an international tech giant. Source: Seven Sharp

Facial recognition technology had both benefits and risks for collective and individual rights and interests, Lynch and Chen said.

“The pace of technological change has outstripped law and regulation,” Lynch said.

We welcome the opportunity to provide independent advice to assist New Zealand Police to develop and strengthen their policies for legal and ethical use of this technology.

"We are interested in digging deeper to find out how Police are using facial recognition technologies today, and how they can consider the use of new tools in the future.”

Chen said they hoped to find a way forward where both public safety and privacy are supported.