Facial recognition technology is under scrutiny again after the technology led to the mistaken arrest of a man in Georgia on a fugitive warrant out of a state he has never been to.
In late November 2022, Randall Reid, 28, was arrested in DeKalb County, Georgia, after law enforcement officials in Louisiana used facial recognition to mistakenly link him to the theft of luxurious purses in Baton Rouge.
“They told me I had a warrant out of Jefferson Parish. I said, ‘What is Jefferson Parish?’” Reid said. “I have never been to Louisiana a day in my life. Then they told me it was for theft. So not only have I not been to Louisiana, I also don’t steal.”
Reid, who is black, was released after five days. The sheriff in Jefferson rescinded the warrant due to differences like a mole on Reid’s face. According to Reid’s lawyer, Tommy Calogero, there was also about a 40-pound difference between Reid and the purse thief in the surveillance image.
Reid’s case renews criticism of facial recognition technology, particularly in relation to those with dark skin where the technology is shown to be even more inaccurate.
Research shows that this technology is more likely to misidentify black people and those with darker skin than white people but overall has low accuracy levels.