Despite knowing it might not work on some ethnic minorities, the British government deemed a new facial recognition system for passport photos “sufficient to deploy” in 2016. According to documents released by the Home Office, authorities knew the system was spotty when processing people with “very light or very dark skin,” but decided to launch it anyway.
What do the glitches mean for users? If the technology can’t recognize someone’s features — such as when it mistook a Black man’s lips for an open mouth — it warns that the picture doesn’t comply with guidelines, which could jeopardize passport applications.
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