The Los Angeles Police Department halted the use of outside facial recognition platforms in investigations after uncovering that detectives had used a powerful commercial software known as Clearview AI without permission.
Other platforms like Clearview, which compare images against millions of images posted on the Internet, are not authorized for investigative use, he said.
"Department personnel shall not use third-party commercial facial recognition services or conduct facial recognition searches on behalf of outside agencies," McMahon wrote. "Moreover, any department personnel using FRT shall attend the proper training and obtain a certificate of completion prior to using the system."
Clearview could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday. The company has a history of courting officers to try out its system.
Civil liberties advocates have questioned the efficacy of facial recognition software platforms, particularly those like Clearview, which use images from outside the criminal justice system. Some critics and researchers have identified racial bias in facial recognition results.
LAPD Asst. Chief
In an article published online Tuesday evening, BuzzFeed reported that documents it had reviewed "showed more than 25
As of Tuesday, Frank said the department had identified only two investigators who used Clearview AI on an investigation, though others appeared to have tinkered with the platform using noninvestigative images. Some officers whose names were shared with the department by BuzzFeed denied ever using the Clearview platform, Frank said.
In the two instances in which
He said no arrests are made solely on the strength of a facial recognition match, and all require additional evidence.
While officers have now been instructed not to use the Clearview system, those who did have not been punished, as they broke no rules with their prior usage, Frank said.
"The search complied with state law and our policy, as we didn't have one forbidding third-party commercial facial recognition usage until last week," he said.
Frank said the department is now conducting a more exhaustive review to determine whether officers have been using unsanctioned facial recognition platforms without the department's knowledge. One
At the time,
"He used an image that was not part of any criminal investigation for that evaluation, and received no results. This was a single evaluation Clearview requested and the system has not been accessed again by
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