Flawed Facial Recognition Leads To Arrest and Jail for New Jersey Man

Clearview AI is a facial recognition tool that uses billions of photos taken from the public web, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Clearview AI founder Hoan Ton-That said officials from state agencies who analyzed information in the case, called fusion centers, were not using his company’s app at the time.

According to the police report, this was a license photo that would be in a government database that Clearview AI does not have access to. Law enforcement agencies involved in running the game – the New York State Intelligence Center, New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center, and two state investigators – did not respond to requests about which facial recognition system was being used.

In January, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal imposed a moratorium on police use of Clearview, following a New York Times article on Clearview AI, and announced an investigation into “this or similar products.” A spokesman for the attorney general said the New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice is still evaluating the use of facial recognition products in the state and that a guideline for their use is ongoing.

After his arrest, Mr. Parks was held at the Middlesex County Corrections Center for 10 days. The New Jersey no-bail system uses an algorithm that assesses the risk of the accused, not the money, to determine whether a defendant can be released before trial.

A decade ago, Mr. Parks was arrested and jailed twice for selling drugs. He was released in 2016. The public safety rating he had received, which would have taken into account his previous beliefs, was high enough that he was not released after his first hearing. His mother and fiancée hired a lawyer to take him out of prison and into a pre-trial surveillance program.

His history with the criminal justice system made this incident so scary, he said, because it would have been his third crime, meaning he faced a long prison sentence. When the prosecutor offered a plea deal, he almost accepted it, even though he was innocent.

“I sat down with my family and discussed it,” said Mr. Parks. “I was afraid to go to court. I knew that if I lost I would get 10 years. “

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