Dallas Police Department investigators will begin using facial recognition technology to arrest criminal suspects.

The police chief told a group of City Council members Monday that he had been waiting years to see how the program would work in other departments.

They are intended to use a somewhat controversial program. ClearView AI collects billions of photos from the internet, including photos on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Artificial intelligence is then used to identify the person police are looking for.

Police Chief Eddie Garcia told the commission he plans to implement the program within six months and is already using it in individual cases. He points to one case of his that helped investigators uncover a child pornography suspect. They identified the man because he appeared in the background of a photo at the exhibition.

NBC 6 in South Florida covered the city's rollout of ClearView AI. During protests in 2020 that turned violent, police used the program to locate and arrest a 25-year-old woman who was caught on camera throwing rocks at police.

“We used this technology to identify violent protesters who were assaulting police officers, damaging police property, and setting fire to property,” Deputy Chief Armando said.・Aguilar said at the time.

“I think this is going to be a game-changer,” Dallas Police Chief Garcia said.

Garcia said the city of Dallas will have “robust” policies in place, and the department is waiting for other cities to identify issues with the technology. They won't allow the police to go on fishing expeditions. Department policy requires investigators to search for specific suspects accused of specific crimes, after review by supervisors at the city's Real-Time Crime Center.

“I've always had a lot of concerns about privacy, whether it's data or anything else. This is very comfortable for me. This is an efficiency, and it feels like just the next step. ” City Councilwoman Carla Mendelsohn said from the podium.

Maj. Stephen Williams said it will help officers catch suspects at places where large groups of people gather, such as sporting events and concerts.

“These large-scale events create additional photos within the solution. When people post photos at public events, they get more publicity and attention, and a person's process on how to identify them by location ,” Williams said.

The department will pay for the program with a grant outside of the city's budget. By the way, the city of Miami signed a contract with ClearView AI in 2020 for $12,000.

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