back to article Will Police Scotland use real-time discrimination-happy face-recog tech? Senior cop tells us: We won't... for now

A Scottish Parliamentary panel has urged police to not invest in live facial-recognition technology, and the plod seem to agree. In a report published this week, the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing noted that today's real-time facial-recognition software discriminated against “females, and those from black, Asian and ethnic …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    well , some relief for the tin foil hat wearing paranoid conspiracy freaks amongst you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      some relief

      Well, the cynic in me wonders whether they're only too happy not to live-trial real-time face recognition, because for now they can just let the police in England and Wales take the heat. And after some suitable fig-leaf of "success" is achieved (or manufactured) elsewhere, are planning to pile ahead with it just like every other police force.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You sure? This sounds like yes....but not just yet.

      And my tinfoil hat is very stylish thankyouverymuch...

    3. HildyJ Silver badge
      Big Brother

      It's only a day away

      Just because they're not doing it today doesn't mean they won't do it when the situation changes (like when the fuss dies down).

      They promise "targeted intelligence led" usage but that's what NSA promises.

      Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't watching you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's only a day away

        I wish they were!

        Nobody appears to be watching the little scroats that are running around here drilling holes in fuel tanks to steal the fuel

  2. Anonymous Coward
  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All wee neds look the same

    It's the inbreeding*. There's no room for immigrant criminals in Coatbridge, the locals have the market sewn up* so it doesn't matter if the AI is racially biased.

    *potentially offensive stereotyping

    **stitch that

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All wee neds look the same

      They haven't been able to get the AI to differentiate catholic and protestant yet, so Scottish police don't see a use in it

      1. smudge Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: All wee neds look the same

        In Coatbridge they don't need to :)

      2. Dr. G. Freeman

        Re: All wee neds look the same

        Ah yes, remember when I went for an interview for Strathclyde Police as it was then, and was asked if I was a Catholic or Protestant Mormon.

        Didn't get the job.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    aye, aye

    Dinnae look no'

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trust the police?

    There are so many youtube videos showing exactly how trustworthy the police are and particularly the Scottish police.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Trust the police?

      Most people don't actually encounter the police much, and who records "normal" interactions with the police and posts that sort of interaction? Who'd watch them? In a social media bubble watching the police you'd end up with videos only being posted by somebody screaming "look at what they did to me", generally highly selectively edited to support creating an outrage mob with lots of idiots then trying to virtue signal by getting ever more extreme about how awful they say the police are.

      For instance, in all of the "look how brutal the police are being" videos, how many of them show it all?

      The general course of a police situation would go roughly:-

      1) Some form of dispute starts between people on the street.

      2) It gets seriously out of hand; somebody calls the police.

      3) The police arrive.

      4) The police try and deescalate the situation.

      5) The people who forced the police to be called in the first place are spoiling for a fight and decide to take the police on.

      6) They lose horribly.

      7) They end up in cuffs in a police van.

      Now how many videos show 1-7? Most selectively edited videos only show a selective part of 6 where the perpetrators that created the situation and escalated it to the point of serious force being used have lost really horribly and are then crying about police brutality.

      There is a big disconnect between how the police actually treat you if you bump into them and how the police are portrayed in TV programmes and youtube videos as normal interactions are boring and so don't get any viewing. The viewing figures go to the exciting and violent stuff and so will obviously distort your perception of policework if you don't make the obvious allowances.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trust the police?

        I have known quite a few members of The Thin Blue Line and they, like any other group, have their share of good and bad people. But as Peter2 noted, by the time the boys and girls in blue turn up, things have normally gone bad anyway so you're not seeing them at their nicest.

        But all that aside, don't AI systems learn by experience? Which means if they can recognise white males more accurately than other facial types, they must have most experience of looking at white male faces? Which means they must have been shown more white male faces?

        But then, white (straight) males are the only group not to have a "Rights" group lobbying for them, so is this really surprising?

        1. Strahd Ivarius
          Trollface

          Re: Trust the police?

          One of the reason it is easier to train AI to recognize white men faces is maybe that they don't use so much Photoshop for their online profile pictures.

          For dark coloured people it may be just a matter of poor contrast ;-)

          And for yellow ones, they look all the same so no wonder...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trust the police?

        HAHAHAHAHAHA

        Plod Scotland despise anyone who dares question their "authority" and particularly those who know the law better than they do, policy is to "protect our own" and takes a charge like rape or murder (that can't be buried) for any action to be taken against a serving officer....

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Trust the police?

      There are so many youtube videos showing exactly how trustworthy the police are and particularly the Scottish police

      Having read Peter's comment my response is: @AC oh yeah? got a link?

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Trust the police?

        There are always these sort of videos.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_9OiWHTzvE

        Top 5 police brutality in the UK.

        #5 is the police carefully putting somebody fighting them into a restraint position, sticking cuffs on them and then leading them towards a police van. Oh noes, stop the press. Somebody got arrested. How brutal.

        Did they beat them senseless with a baton, or hit him with a tazer until it ran flat? Uh, nope.

        #4, somebody resists arrest. Police stick cuffs on him and roughly toss him into the cage in the back of a police van. Somebody else resists arrest. Police carefully subdue him into a restraint position without hurting him in the process.

        Did they beat them senseless with a baton, or hit him with a tazer until it ran flat? yet again, nope. You could claim the fact that they handled the first guy roughly as being brutality I suppose if you squinted hard enough, but personally I was taught that if you start the rough stuff then you might get hurt.

        #3 somebody resists arrest. Police carefully subdue him into a restraint position, and stick cuffs on him. Somebody else resists arrest. Police carefully subdue him into a restraint position, and stick cuffs on him.

        Did they beat them senseless with a baton, or hit him with a tazer until it ran flat? yet again, nope.

        #2, 2 people resist arrest. Police are winning one and not noticeably winning another fight to stick the two people in cuffs. Backup turns up, and they arrest both, and tell people watching to push off and mind their own business.

        Did they beat them senseless with a baton, or hit him with a tazer until it ran flat? yet again, nope.

        #1 In a edited for brevity clip, one bloke has clearly been fighting police officers. One Police officer punches him repeatedly. Other police officer slams door on 3 people who are... doing what? Attempted participants, cheering him on in fighting plod?

        Did they beat him senseless with a baton, or hit him with a tazer until it ran flat? Not on video, but an officer does repeatedly strike somebody with his fists who is not restrained and obviously is resisting arrest. It doesn't show the lead up to this force being used, strangely. Funny that these videos never do, isn't it? Almost as if there are two sides to the story, and we are only seeing one of them.

        So out of the 5 most brutal bits of UK police brutality, 4 of them don't show any real brutality, and one might possibly if you take "resisting arrest, fighting and getting injured in the course of resisting arrest" as police brutality. Which personally, I don't.

        I'd personally consider brutality as them cuffing somebody and then deciding to hit them with their baton until they get fed up. And there are plenty of videos of foreign police doing this, and um, none of our police doing it. Probably because, well. Our police aren't actually provably brutal at all given that there is an independent body that will investigate anything and cause anybody proven to be doing something like that is liable to get done for common assault themselves.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PC Murdoch was nae so bad

    - Oor Wullie

    1. ActionBeard

      Re: PC Murdoch was nae so bad

      Nowadays Oor Wullie would get tasered. That would make his hair even more spiky.

  7. cornetman Silver badge

    > A Scottish Parliamentary panel has urged police to not invest in live facial-recognition technology

    Are Parliament in charge or what? If you think they shouldn't then make a friggin' law stopping them then.

    Sheesh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Virtually EVERY MSP is a failed councillor, washed up public servant, on a morality quest and worse

      Heck the Tories looked the other way when Humza Yousef was caught driving without insurance and said it was an "honest mistake anyone could have made" - anyone else made that mistake your talking a minimum fpn and points on your licence or more likely a date to explain yourself to the bench.....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ... or ever

    Without reason to suspect you of wrongdoing, plod can't demand your identity. So if you are minding your own business in a public place where anyone might be taking photos, masking your face to remain anonymous is your right.

  9. David Neil

    Intelligence led

    What like this effort?

    pic.twitter.com/0M7nokwJ4B

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