Face-Recognition Software Used in Hunt for UK Looters

Police using Scotland Yard's high-tech software
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 11, 2011 6:38 PM CDT
Face-Recognition Software Used in Hunt for UK Looters
Police officers apprehend a suspect in south London Thursday during a series of raids to recover stolen property.   (Glenn Copus)

Facial-recognition technology being considered for London's 2012 Games is getting a workout in the wake of Britain's riots, with officers feeding photographs of suspects through Scotland Yard's newly updated face-matching program. A law enforcement official told the AP that to use the technology "you have to have a good picture of a suspect and it is only useful if you have something to match it against. In other words, the suspect already has to have a previous criminal record."

In another effort to identify suspects, police have released two dozen photos and videos to the picture-sharing website Flickr. The photographs are mainly grainy images pulled from cameras, which may not be of much use to face-matching software. But detectives are already scanning the Web for pictures of high-quality photographs of rioters' faces, according to photojournalist Guilherme Zauith, who posted images of clashes to the Internet. A detective soon contacted him for more information. (Read more London riots stories.)

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