LAPD bans using third-party facial recognition software after discovering detectives did so without permission

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The Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in downtown L.A. is seen in this undated file photo. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in downtown L.A. is seen in this undated file photo. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Police Department has barred officers and detectives from using outside facial recognition platforms in their investigations after uncovering a handful of detectives had used a powerful commercial software platform known as Clearview AI without permission.

In a Nov. 13 directive sent to the entire agency, Deputy Chief John McMahon, who heads the LAPD’s information technology bureau, noted that the only facial recognition system that LAPD officers are authorized to use is provided through the Los Angeles County Regional Identification System, which is maintained by the county and compares images input by officers against criminal booking photographs.

Other platforms like Clearview, which compare images against millions of images posted on the Internet, are not authorized for investigative use, he said.

“Department personnel shall not use third-party commercial facial recognition services or conduct facial recognition searches on behalf of outside agencies,” McMahon wrote. “Moreover, any department personnel using FRT shall attend the proper training and obtain a certificate of completion prior to using the system.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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