Woman arrested over faulty facial recognition match hits back, sues police

Porcha Woodruff is the first woman arrested wrongfully due to faulty facial recognition, claims report. Check out to know more.

| Updated on: Aug 07 2023, 09:06 IST
facial recognition
Porcha Woodruff was arrested wrongfully for robbery and carjacking. (REUTERS)
facial recognition
Porcha Woodruff was arrested wrongfully for robbery and carjacking. (REUTERS)

Advancements in technology have helped various industries and services to upscale their operations and that even includes the police. However, such technologies are not always credible and can lead to serious repercussions, as has just become very clear. One such technology called facial recognition has been widely discussed among experts, but its faults have not been highlighted. And now, in Detroit, a 32-year-old pregnant woman has been falsely accused and even arrested for heinous crimes that she did not commit due to a faulty facial recognition match.

Porcha Woodruff, from Detroit, Michigan, has become the first woman to be arrested by the police on a false accusation of robbery and carjacking due to a faulty facial recognition match, the New York Times reports.

The case

Woodruff was arrested in February by the Detroit police and was held for questioning for 11 hours. She was interviewed for a crime she did not commit. Later that evening, she was released on a $100,000 personal bond.

“I was having contractions in the holding cell. My back was sending me sharp pains. I was having spasms. I think I was probably having a panic attack,” said Woodruff, a licensed aesthetician and nursing school student.

New York Times also reported that Woodruff was not the only black person who was falsely arrested based on facial recognition technology. It was the sixth case that was reported. Woodruff on Thursday filed a lawsuit against her faulty arrest and accusation on the city of Detroit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

As per reports, Detroit police are facing three lawsuits for wrongful arrests due to facial recognition technology.

“Shoddy technology makes shoddy investigations, and police assurances that they will conduct serious investigations do not ring true,” said Phil Mayor, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

Woodruff in an interview added that it was the most difficult experience she ever had to face during her eight-month pregnancy. Her family and daughters were vastly affected by the case.

About facial recognition technology

According to Amazon Web Services, a face analyzer is a software used to identify a person's identity using their face. It is measured by identifying facial features through an image. Facial recognition technology can identify human faces from images or videos to identify if the face in two images is the same person.

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First Published Date: 07 Aug, 09:06 IST