A US watchdog of state surveillance says the advisers that New Zealand police are bringing in have a lot to watch out for.
The police have appointed two outside advisors on the safe use of facial recognition technology.
They say they choose not to use many of these new powers introduced in a recent $23 million tech upgrade.
But Matthew Guariglia, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in California, said he was sceptical, based on his understanding of said of US law enforcement.
“Once it’s already in the hands of the police, it becomes even harder to take it away from them. Because then they feel like they’re being denied technology, they’ve already worked into their daily routines,” he said.
“And so then it’s often relied upon to bring experts in to justify how they’ve been using it, even though they did not get permission from anyone, and had no accountability or regulation, when they instituted the technology in the first place.”
The NZ Police have perfected their woke wash.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster can talk about policing with the consent of the Community all he likes, but what is happening behind the scenes is the creation of a mass surveillance network that has the capacity of working in real time.
The Police have secretly created this with no agreement whatsoever with the NZ public.
Cast your mind back to May 2020 and the sudden revelation that the NZ Police were trialling mass surveillance face recognition tech without any clearance…
Police conducted a trial of controversial facial recognition software without consulting their own bosses or the Privacy Commissioner.
The American firm Clearview AI’s system, which is used by hundreds of police departments in the United States and several other countries, is effectively a search engine for faces – billing itself as a crime-fighting tool to identify perpetrators and victims.
New Zealand Police first contacted the firm in January, and later set up a trial of the software, according to documents RNZ obtained under the Official Information Act. However, the high tech crime unit handling the technology appears to have not sought the necessary clearance before using it.
…and then news days later after that revelation the Police were doing a ‘stocktake’ of this face recognition software that no one had been given permission to use…
Last week, RNZ revealed police conducted hundreds of searches, including for suspects, using American software Clearview AI.
The trial, conducted between February and March, did not have the necessary sign-offs from the Police Commissioner, the Privacy Commissioner and the Cabinet.
Police said they do not intend to use Clearview because it was ineffective in New Zealand.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster today said he had ordered a stocktake of any similar software being used.
“I’ve commissioned a stocktake of any surveillance-type technologies that we may be using or trialing to make sure that there’s nothing equivalent [to Clearview],” Coster said
…so the NZ Police used mass surveillance facial recognition software from an Orwellian company that illegally sources photos without any sign off from the Privacy Commissioner or their own Police Boss, they then hold a ‘stocktake’ of these types of unapproved face recognition software trials and lo and fucking behold the Police quietly admit to a $9million face recognition network they are setting up with zero oversight from the Privacy Commissioner???
Police have been quietly setting up a $9 million facial recognition system that can take a live feed from CCTV cameras and identify people from it.
This would push New Zealand into new territory for tracking citizens.
It will be run by a non-police contractor – US firm Dataworks Plus – and collect 15,000 facial images a year, with that expected to expand up to 10-fold.
Their latest move is to create some fake watchdog panel over mass surveillance powers that no on gave them!
Does anyone in the Labour Party know what the full potential of the Police having mass surveillance powers over every CCTV camera in real time is?
What actual safe guards are there in place for such Orwellian powers?
Who else has access to that information?
The Police are making the right purring noises and virtue signalling in public but quietly behind the scenes are building a mass surveillance network that gives them an omnipotence that no one has agreed to!
They were caught trailing face recognition software with no approval, tell the public they will take a stocktake of these types of unapproved tests and the next thing we hear is they’ve actually gone ahead with a face recognition network?
It’s like calling the fire service to deal with a fire and them arriving with petrol to put out the flames.
The Police can’t get busted using unapproved mass surveillance programs, them tell the public they are looking into it to make sure that doesn’t happen again, and then get caught putting that mass surveillance system in place!
This requires URGENT investigation. The Police have been underhand and incredibly deceitful about this, and that doesn’t inspire any faith at all.
If the cops are going to be this convenient with the truth, why would we trust them with this vast unchecked power?
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