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Monday, April 22, 2013

Facial Recognition Software Failed In Boston Manhunt

Ars Technica mentions:
While the whole country is relieved that this past week’s Boston Marathon bombing ordeal and subsequent lockdown of the city is finally over, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis told theWashington Post that the department’s facial recognition system “did not identify” the two bombing suspects.
“The technology came up empty even though both Tsarnaevs’ images exist in official databases: Dzhokhar had a Massachusetts driver’s license; the brothers had legally immigrated; and Tamerlan had been the subject of some FBI investigation,” the Post reported on Saturday. 
Facial recognition systems can have limited utility when a grainy, low-resolution image captured at a distance from a cellphone camera or surveillance video is compared with a known, high-quality image. Meanwhile, the FBI is expected to release a large-scale facial recognition apparatus “next year for members of the Western Identification Network, a consortium of police agencies in California and eight other Western states,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.

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