‘London riots facial recognition’ group forms on Google

By Andrew Jones
Tuesday, August 9, 2011 11:57 EDT
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Images of  riots in London from 2011. Image via AFP.
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A new Google Group called “London Riots Facial Recognition” emerged online in the wake of the London riots in an effort to identify the perpetrators.

The group’s reported aim is to use tools similar to Facebook’s photo recognition to identify the looters who appear on photos of the riots on the web.  The first discussion in the group was started by the user ‘Syd Lawrence’, and is followed up by other discussions focusing on accessing the code “Application Programming Interface” (API) for different sites to cropping specific images.

However, the most important discussion in the Google Group centers on the legality and ethical challenges of doing “facial recognition”, an issue that has led Facebook to receive much criticism and possible investigation from US government officials. Two of the discussions are titled “Ethical Issues” and “Keeping Things Legal.” The latter  thread includes a question that asks, “Get police backing?”

As of this post, the group was still in the early stages on which steps to take in order to begin ‘facial recognition.’

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones is a staff writer/reporter for Raw Story. Besides covering politics, he is also a freelance sports journalist, as well as a slam poetry and music artist. You can follow him on Twitter @sluggahjells.
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