Facial recognition seller Rank One Computing, announced on Wednesday that it will be adding “legal means” on its software use, according to a Reuters report. 

A Black-American man, Robert Williams was arrested by Detroit police on January 9th because of an issue of mistaken identity.

Robert Williams

William was arrested and detained for nearly 30 hours, according to an ACLU report. 

The usual procedures after William’s arrest followed, the police took his fingerprints, DNA sample, and his mugshot. He was released the next day after an officer told him that “the computer must have gotten it wrong,” 

William’s arrest is the first known case of mistaken identity due to the use of technology, said ACLU. Although it is possible that there might be other cases which have remained unknown, they said. 

“This case should not have been issued based on the [police] investigation,” said Kym Worthy, Wayne County prosecutor. Especially because there is not enough evidence to support the arrest. 

Worthy’s office told Reuters that, they don’t have any information on the investigators involved in William’s case. Nobody knows if they were sanctioned or not.

ACLU via a statement calls on the ban against the use of facial recognition technology in law enforcement. The technology is “flawed and biased” said ACLU. It also misidentifies Blacks and Asians more than white people.

Amazon and Microsoft will not be manufacturing the technology to police for some time, said ACLU.  

Statement From Rank One Computing

The problem is that the police pushed through with the arrest without enough evidence, company executive Brendan Klare told Reuters.

The company “will add a legal means” against violators of its Code of Ethics, said Klare in an email to Reuters. In other words, violators’ use of the software will be revoked. Moreover, the company will also “conduct a technical review” of its “safeguards” to prevent future misuse. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here