Should Police Use of Facial Recognition Be Banned?

by | Oct 21, 2020 | Civil Rights, Criminal Defense, Police Brutality | 0 comments

Back in early June, lawmakers proposed a bill to ban police use of facial recognition software. Prohibiting the use of facial recognition would make it unlawful for authorities to obtain or utilize surveillance data from biometric systems. This bill was introduced after several cases of false arrests were reported across the United States, including a Detroit man by the name of Robert Julian-Borchak Williams, who was wrongfully arrested after facial recognition software mistakenly flagged his photo with closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of a shoplifter. 

In addition, large technology companies like Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft, who provide software to law enforcement agencies, have repositioned their stance on facial recognition in support of the dangers it presents. So, should the use of facial recognition technology be banned from police use? The stance you choose to take on this is entirely up to you. Let’s take a deeper look at facial recognition and its uses, costs, and benefits. 

What Is Facial Recognition? 

Facial recognition is a type of computer software engineered to map and analyze facial features It’s capable of identifying people in photographs, videos, or security footage. Based on a set of algorithms, the software picks up on specific facial characteristics, patterns, and measurements to verify a person’s identity. As of now, there are no laws against facial recognition, meaning it’s nearly impossible to protect your data from being stored. 

Likely, the concept of facial recognition isn’t new to you. Many mobile phones and apps use facial recognition for access authorization. Airports and businesses have high-tech software to identify potential threats. The data collected has specific uses depending on who’s obtaining it, so how is it being used when it’s in police hands? 

How Police Use Facial Recognition

Police use facial-recognition software to locate suspicious persons and criminals in order to make the public safer. Collections of mugshots, jail booking records, driver’s license pictures, or passport photos are stored in a national database that can be accessed per request by law enforcement. If there’s a surveillance video or photo of you and police want to verify your identity, they can cross-examine your face with information in the national database. 

Facial recognition is a preferred method of identification because it’s instant, whereas DNA tracing can take days to assemble. However, concerns about privacy and its efficiency are being raised as more and more innocent people are being falsely identified. 

Pros and Cons of Facial Recognition 

Technology has inevitably made life easier. However, there’s no doubt that it’s imperfect. Facial recognition carries certain benefits and costs, with most of the positives pertaining to police. For instance, some of the major advantages of facial recognition include: 


  • Safety and security
  • Faster processing
  • Efficiency in policing
  • No contact 


On the other hand, the disadvantages of facial recognition ignite fear in the public. Some of the biggest drawbacks of facial recognition include: 


  • Invasion of privacy
  • Vulnerability to hackers 
  • Racial bias 
  • Low reliability
  • No regulation 

Wrongfully Arrested? Contact an Experienced Michigan False Arrest Lawyer 

False arrests can be embarrassing and bring unreasonable hardship to you and your family. If you were wrongfully arrested, don’t take it lightly with the hope that the matter will be easily resolved. Consult an experienced Michigan false arrest lawyer who knows the best way to approach your case. You deserve the competency of a legal firm like Michigan Legal Center to ensure your rights are protected. 

Here at Michigan Legal Center, our legal team represents clients in Michigan who are subject to false arrests. When your civil rights are violated, turn to us to demand the monetary compensation you’re rightfully owed. We’ll investigate your case and determine your best course of action moving forward. Request a free case evaluation by calling 248-886-8650 or completing a contact form.

Portage, MI – Woman Killed in Pedestrian Crash on Willowcreek Rd

Portage, MI (December 3, 2023) - A 68-year-old woman has died after being struck by a vehicle in Portage, according to the Portage Police Department. At about 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, officers of the Portage Police Department responded to the area of Willowcreek Road...

Lansing, MI – Injury Vehicle Collision Shuts Down US 127 at Lake Lansing

Lansing, MI (December 3, 2023) - An incident on southbound U.S. Highway 127 was reported on Friday morning, December 1, and caused the entire roadway to be closed, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). At 8:15 a.m. on the southbound side of...

Detroit, MI – Multi-Vehicle Wreck w/Injuries on I-96 at Grand Blvd

Detroit, MI (December 3, 2023) - Detroit police say they are investigating the details surrounding a multi-vehicle crash that occurred on Sunday, December 3, according to the officers who responded to the scene. Though specific details about the crash have not been...

Detroit, MI – Rollover Collision Causes Injury at 10 Mile & Gratiot

Detroit, MI (December 3, 2023) - On Sunday, December 3, two vehicles collided on a local highway in Detroit, leading to victim injuries and a rollover of one of the cars involved, as reported by Michigan State Police troopers and local officers. According to a report...

Detroit, MI – I-75 Car Crash Injures Victims After M-8

Detroit, MI (December 3, 2023) - According to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), southbound I-75 after Michigan Highway 8 was blocked as a result of an accident on Sunday, December 3. At around 2:50 p.m. on Sunday, the Michigan Department of...

Detroit, MI – Car Accident, Injuries on M-10 Near I-94 Ramp

Detroit, MI (December 3, 2023) - Multiple drivers collided in a major vehicle crash in the Detroit region on Sunday, December 3, and the incident reportedly ended in injuries, per local authorities. At around 1:15 p.m., the suspected rear-end collision occurred on...

Detroit, MI – Injury-Causing Accident Closes I-94 at Little Mack

Detroit, MI (December 3, 2023) - An accident involving at least two vehicles blocked several lanes of a local freeway on Sunday afternoon, December 3, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation, resulting in a handful of victim injuries. At about 3:15...

Detroit, MI – Injuries Recorded in Vehicle Crash on I-94 at Mt Elliott

Detroit, MI (December 3, 2023) - After an accident on Sunday, December 3, a local Detroit roadway was partially closed. All right lanes of westbound I-94 after Mt. Elliott were closed due to the accident at roughly 10:45 a.m., according to troopers with the Michigan...

Roseville, MI – Officer Hurt in Accident on I-94 at 13 Mile Rd

Roseville, MI (December 3, 2023) - On Sunday afternoon at approximately 3:00 p.m., one driver was cited and an officer was hurt following a vehicle wreck, per local authorities who responded to the scene. The Roseville Police Department responded to westbound I-94 at...

Mundy Twp, MI – US 23 Site of Semi-Truck Wreck, Injuries at Maple Rd

Mundy Township, MI (December 3, 2023) - Traffic was backed up for miles on northbound U.S. 23 after a trailer slammed into the Maple Road bridge following a wreck in Mundy Township on Friday morning. The crash was reported around 10:30 a.m., and it led emergency crews...