The ALCU is opposing a move by the Pinellas county sheriffs department, who today began the use of facial recognition technology in sheriff’s squad car, despite the fact that the system has no proven success, and was scrapped by the Tampa police over 2 years ago. WMNFs Andrew Stelzer has more.

ACT All claims to accuracy are completely bogus… Paul Pullman is the chapter chair for the Pinellas county American civil liberties Union

ACT It’s unreliable in 40-50 percent of the cases.

3 years ago, Tampa became the first law enforcement agency in the country to begin using facial recognition technology on the streets of Tampa, to take pictures of crowds in Ybor city. The experiment ended in January of 2002; throughout the time it was used, it helped them catch a grand total of zero criminals. But the move also seemed to be a reaction to protest by the public, who saw it as an invasion of privacy Since then the system has been in use in a more controlled setting in the St-Petersburg Clearwater airport, and for visitors to the Criminal justice center and Pinellas county jail. Mack McMullen is spokesperson for the Pinellas county Sheriffs, he described to WMNF how the system works.

ACT “We will be putting 50 units into patrol cars…the way the system works is…

But Pullman, from the Pinellas ACLU, says that the power imbalance between police will likely lead to false arrests being made.

ACT “If an officer stops someone and asks to take a picture, people are very concerned about being able to

WMNF asked Mc Mullen, from the sheriffs department, about the rules, which determine how the police may use the technology, and about the many criticisms levied by the ACLU.


Pullman from the ACLU says people need to be concerned, and they are encouraging citizens to write or email the Pinellas county sheriff, Everett Rice.

ACT “Its big brother, it’s a surveillance society; it’s just one more thing

In For more information you can contact the Pinellas ACLU by email at

For WMNF news, I’m Andrew Stelzer

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