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Police deny Notting Hill Carnival face recog tech led to wrongful arrest

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Big Brother

DPA requests

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives people a legal right to demand copies of information held about them, including CCTV images and related data. It is estimated that around two million people enter the general area of the annual carnival.

If say 10% of the attendees requested the CCTV of them in a suitably vague way "I was wearing blue jeans and was there mid-afternoon", then I'm sure that 200k DPA requests should lessen Inspector Knacker's enthusiasm somewhat...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: DPA requests

can just be ignored ?

SOP for most UK government bodies. After all there's no downside. It's not like the courts can (or have) actually do (done) anything.

How are those DNA and fingerprint records coming along ?

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Re: DPA requests

And if you ask to be removed, you would automatically enter a "discontent" list.

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Re: DPA requests

They would say it takes too much staff time or the request is vexatious or something.

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Alien

Well all you Hoomans look the same to me

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not just Hoomans

As the story goes, Pablo Picasso once got mugged on the street. When he was trying to describe the mugger, one of police officers had a bright idea: "You are a famous artist after all. Why don't you draw us a sketch?" He duly did so. And it was a big success - by the next day police had arrested an unprecedented number of suspects. Five men, three women, two dogs, a horse with a chariot, two sewing machines and a bicycle.

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Re: not just Hoomans

I thought that of Picasso until one day someone juxtaposed a photo of his wife with one of his pictures of his wife.

Quite extraordinary!

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Re: not just Hoomans

Quite life-like actually...

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No accountability

So, get wrongfully arrested, and the police are not held to account? Great democracy we have here.

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Flame

Re: No accountability

It's great - you can even remove an innocent mans head with seven dum dum bullets and get away scott free.

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Re: No accountability

He was released when it was established that the grounds for his arrest no longer existed. If you're arrested because PNC is still showing an outstanding warrant, your arrest isn't wrongful.

If they continued to detain him past the point at which the error was discovered, then the arrest would be unlawful.

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Re: No accountability

He was arrested and released in the interval between the police compiling their list of targets and actually using it, presumably without double checking against the PNC. So there was no outstanding warrant when he was arrested the second time, which by your own logic made it wrongful. One might even go so far as to suggest it was harassment.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No accountability

"So, get wrongfully arrested, and the police are not held to account? Great democracy we have here."

How quaint of you to think we have democracy in the UK.

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Re: No accountability

"It's great - you can even remove an innocent mans head with seven dum dum bullets and get away scott free."

It's better than that, you get to be Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police!

(Let's vilify the person who gave the order, not the copper who was told they were dealing with a dangerous terrorist)

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Re: No accountability

At the time of the arrest, the police officers had reasonable grounds to suspect that a warrant was outstanding, based on the information available to them at the time.

The fact that the information was wrong is irrelevant; the grounds for arrest simply need to be objective and an officer needs to be able to articulate them.

"You're under arrest because I believe you have an outstanding warrant"

"Nah, bruv. I was in court two days ago"

<insert custody systems check>

"Ah, so you were. Sorry about that, enjoy the carnival!"

Harassment, for ease of reference, requires a course of conduct and an intention to harass, and there's a general exemption for people acting in good faith.

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FAIL

what could possibly go wrong

where to start...

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Anonymous Coward

I thought racial discrimination was illegal in this country.

Targeting a festival of black culture while not using the same technology at all other festivals such as Glastonbury is wrong.

and people wonder why we had riots (I am not condoning those riots in the slightest but when faced with injustice people usually fight back, America is a good example of this during the civil rights movement riots.)

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Anonymous Coward

The crowd at Glastonbury don't actively attack the police, stab or gang rape each other.

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Anonymous Coward

What the actual f*ck?

http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/somerset-news/police-appealing-witnesses-following-sexual-135726

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Targeting a festival of black culture ...

Whilst I'm no fan of snake-oil technologies like facial recognition, I think you'll find that the police weren't "targeting the festival", but were in fact trying to maintain law and order at an event with a very long and very poor history for criminals trying to take advantage of the event, including selling and using drugs, theft, various assault and disorder offences, criminal damage, possession of weapons, and what looks like a strongly rising trend of sex offences.

Maybe you'd rather Plod weren't their at all?

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Anonymous Coward

The fact you use the term "each other" shows that you are a racist, well done for enforcing racial stereotypes. You get a white badge.

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And yet arrests per thousand attendees are higher at Glastonbury than at Notting Hill.

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This post has been deleted by its author

"The fact you use the term "each other" shows that you are a racist, well done for enforcing racial stereotypes. You get a white badge."

*calmly closes eyes and gently massages temples whilst deep in psycholuminal analysis*

You're.. white, aren't you?

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Devil

"arrests per thousand attendees are higher at Glastonbury than at Notting Hill"
That would seem to imply that there's a need for affirmative action and that plod should be praised for concentrating more effort on Notting Hill in order to correct the disparity.

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Anonymous Coward

@detritus

Yeah and what's your point? I have black people in my family and they have never attacked the police, stabbed or gang raped anyone or each other.

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" I have black people in my family and they have never attacked the police, stabbed or gang raped anyone or each other."
But have they ever been arrested for...

littering?

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Eh?

Targeting a festival of black culture while not using the same technology at all other festivals such as Glastonbury is wrong.

I thought is was first used at the Download Festival?

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/13/sneaky_use_of_facial_recognition_at_download_rightly_caused_outcry_according_to_blightys_surveillance_commish/

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"a festival of black culture"

I must admit, that phrase puzzles me. What is "black culture"? People come from a variety of heritages, often with wildly differing cultures (and often competing, sometimes violently), yet there is this thing that people of a certain range of skin pigments have a "black culture".

No one would ever dream of having a "white culture" festival with white people with heritages from all over the world and claiming it was all one culture. Is it a bit like football fans? Sunderland fans hate Newcastle fans but all are England fans and best friends at an international?

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"Targeting a festival of black culture while not using the same technology at all other festivals such as Glastonbury is wrong."

Glastonbury is on private property though.

The Police are apparently after wanted street criminals and discouraging those that would be breaking the law by being there. So surely targeting an inner city location where a higher percentage of the population is likely to be wanted - and has a very high density of people - and has had many issues in the past with street crime makes perfect sense for both public safety and efficient police resourcing?

The reasons they are doing this in that place and for that event it makes perfect sense and seems entirely reasonable to me. So for instance if i wanted to target knife crime, I probably wouldn't setup a metal detector in the Surrey stockbroker belt as a priority...But if I wanted to target Cocaine use then maybe it would be a good place!

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Big Brother

"And yet arrests per thousand attendees are higher at Glastonbury than at Notting Hill."

Glastonbury = 44 / ~ 200,000 = 0.22 / 1000

Notting Hill = 454 (excluding several hundred more related before the event!) / ~ 1,000,000 = 0.454 / 1000

So nope - Notting Hill is higher.

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"The fact you use the term "each other" shows that you are a racist"

I must have missed the English lesson where "each other" had a racial connotation. As far as I am aware that's an entirely neutral expression.

"You're.. white, aren't you?"

Pot, kettle, black, etc. Talk about enforcing racial stereotypes!

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Nothing wrong with being "wrongfully" arrested

They just check them out and let them go, right? It's not like they missed part of an event they paid for, or had their liberty restricted without cause, or were held for hours or days in a cell, or have to tick the "Yes I've been arrested" box on a job application for the rest of their lives, or have their image and biometrics (illegally?) stored in a leaky police cloud server until the sun explodes, right?

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Re: Nothing wrong with being "wrongfully" arrested

Detained or arrested ? I know it might be splitting hairs. But here in the US Detained means stopped then let go Arrested usually means hand cuffed, questions and or take back to the stations for further interview.

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Joke

Re: Nothing wrong with being "wrongfully" arrested

No longer than that I believe sometime after the heat death of the universe is when they will be lost (ooops sorry securely deleted).

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Re: Nothing wrong with being "wrongfully" arrested

"But here in the US Detained means stopped then let go Arrested usually means"

Similar here. Although grounds for arrest are much weaker in the UK than the US. Since Theresa May clamped down on detention the requirements for both are pretty much the same (reasonable grounds to suspect), so new constables tend to arrest or turn a blind eye. Arrest carries with it broader powers than detention so is safer, legally, for the officer. Obviously it's more intrusive for the person being arrested, but that just shows you Theresa May's thought process - she wanted the ability to say she's done something rather than actually doing something useful. It also means almost nobody is detained for a search for knives any more, which is why knife crime is rising.

An arrest warrant is cast-iron grounds to arrest (technically speaking not arresting is contempt of court but I don't think it's enforced).

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M7S
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Re: Nothing wrong with being "wrongfully" arrested

This can actually cause a problem. If you have been arrested, even if not charged in the UK, technically you need a visa if you want to go to the USA. This is mostly due to the difference in the import given to the term in the different jurisdictions but with the hassle/cost of getting a US visa as opposed to travelling there under the ESTA scheme.

I would be surprised if many holidaymakers entering the US are not technically in breach of their immigration rules for this reason and if some day their CBP gain full access to UK police records then this could become a bit of a problem for them.

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Re: Nothing wrong with being "wrongfully" arrested

"or have their image and biometrics (illegally?) stored in a leaky police cloud server until the sun explodes,"

Of course that won't happen - after all, their record on not storing data related to people that haven't committed a crime is squeaky clean, isn't it?

I encourage you to persist in reading to the final sentence of the article,

"Hundreds of thousands of mugshots, mostly of innocent people not convicted of any criminal offence, are used to feed the Met's face-matching database. "

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Re: Nothing wrong with being "wrongfully" arrested

"Detained or arrested ? I know it might be splitting hairs. But here in the US Detained means stopped then let go Arrested usually means hand cuffed, questions and or take back to the stations for further interview."

At one time, in the dim and distant past, people may be detained by the police, or even "help with enquiries". The default these days seems to be to arrest everyone involved (or just nearby). Questioning while under arrest has different consequences than questioning while not under arrest.

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"Camilla"

Somewhat ironic that the spokesdroid commenting on surveillance didn't want to be identified.

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Re: "Camilla"

Perhaps the reporter misheard that her name was really "Cortana"?

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FAIL

Call Abby Sciuto!

Facial recognition never makes mistakes on NCIS. They must be using it wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Call Abby Sciuto!

Upvote for mentioning Abby. I may have a bit of a crush on her.

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Re: Call Abby Sciuto!

Sorry, she can't come to the phone, she's a bit busy right now.

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Len
Black Helicopters

They didn't particularly try to hide it

I saw them on two occasions on Monday.

There were two policemen, dressed in police gear (though not standard uniform, a bit more 'active' if that makes sense) walking around. One had a black hard plastic backpack on his back and a video camera shooting as if they were trying to capture the atmosphere of the party, long panning shots. If they hadn't been wearing police outfits they could have been video journalists.

I had assumed the backpack had the recognition tech in it. Reading this about a van it might have actually been transmission equipment to send a live feed to the van where the actual recognition may have taken place.

Anyway, if they wanted to do it in secret (next year?) they could easily do so. Just ditch the uniforms and it looks like news gathering.

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Re: They didn't particularly try to hide it

I imagine that the evidence gathered in this would not not be admissible in court.

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Len

Re: They didn't particularly try to hide it

I am not sure if they are gathering evidence. I assume this is mostly used for finding people who are already wanted. If you can walk around carnival and analyse thousands of faces an hour, send a few coppers (hundreds of them policing carnival anyway) to any possible hit and arrest the suspected hit if they match it can be a very efficient way to arrest many wanted people in one day.

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Re: They didn't particularly try to hide it

I imagine that the evidence gathered in this would not not be admissible in court.

In the UK? I think you are wrong. UK does not have the fruit of poisoned tree doctrine. Probably the only developed economy in the world where the police is entitled to present evidence obtained via illegal means.

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Re: They didn't particularly try to hide it

Not much new. It's about 15 years since I was last at carnival but even back then I recall uniformed Police very visible filming the crowd. There may be additional technology involved now but I'm sure the decision to be a highly visible presence is very deliberate.

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Big Brother

All your face are belong to us ..!

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