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Police stop people for covering their faces from facial recognition camera (independent.co.uk)
124 points by walterbell 44 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 122 comments



> The force had put out a statement saying “anyone who declines to be scanned will not necessarily be viewed as suspicious”

Though you'll be stopped, asked for ID (not compulsory in the UK), and fined if you decline. That sounds like being viewed as suspicious to me. It's a shame it sounds like he didn't decline the fixed penalty to get a court case. We're overdue for some civil disobedience.


You don't get fined for failing to produce ID but you can be fined for swearing at the police, which is what happened in this case. If he politely refused to show ID, there is nothing the police can do unless they have reasonable suspicion that the guy was committing a crime


Sounds to me like if you don't produce an ID the cops will hit you with one of those "contempt of cop" charges that give them enough authority to haul you into the station and take prints.


As the cops say, you might beat the rap, but you cannot beat the ride. You did nothing wrong but they can still arrest you and make your weekend miserable. Maybe the charge is bullshit but you still have to show up to court.


The process is the punishment.


You can be fined for swearing at the police, in a supposedly free country? What a bunch of fucking bullshit.


[flagged]


I included the word “supposedly” for a reason....


Then you are ill informed, because it is neither.


Are those the only two options?


Is that a dig at america?


Typical in these types of discussions.


> If he politely refused to show ID, there is nothing the police can do

Is it really so? Why would then police ask for an ID if anyone can refuse and get away with it?


Because police take advantage of peoples' ignorance of their rights.


probably because it is not illegal for someone to ask for your ID


Are you sure you can't get fined or detained or whatever for not showing ID? Cops would find that really really suspicious. I thought you were legally obliged to show ID when asked anyway, at least in the UK. Is it not the case? I would say that the act of not showing ID would be "reasonable suspicion" by itself. Maybe not, but curious how it plays out in practice, and what the law has to say about it.


There is no national ID card in the UK so it would be impossible to enforce. There is no law saying you have to produce ID on request and "reasonable suspicion" only applies to a specific crime. The police can't just say that they have "reasonable suspicion" that you are committing an unspecified crime.


Does "reasonable suspicion" imply an unspecified crime? Does it have to be the case? Suspicion doesn't necessarily mean that it is the case, so as long as they can come up with reasons, it's fine, and they don't need to be correct, or at least they won't get "punished" for being incorrect. Is it wrong? I am just trying to gather more information. :D

Hmm, how do you generally prove identity in the UK?[1]

[1] Actually this is something I could easily look up on the Internet, sorry. I don't mean to waste your time.


Reasonable suspicion that you are breaking the law, or are about to break the law. They may be required to justify their grounds, i.e. what they suspect you of and why. They have been known to simply ignore those requests for why.

e.g. I suspect you of going equipped to commit burglary due to your stripey jumper, crowbar and bag with "swag" printed on it.

Proving ID is usually done via passport or driving licence. If you don't have those producing a couple from bank statement, utility bill or council tax bill is usually enough. I'm old enough to have got bank account without any requirement for ID at all. Yes, that means it can be a chain of circumstantial evidence rather than proof.


Basically the police can stop you if they have "reasonable suspicion of committing crime x" and they have to tell you which crime they suspect you of and why.

To prove who we are we can use a driving license or passport, if we have one. But there are many people with neither. In that case it's quite complex and usually requires a trustworthy person (doctor, lawyer, chartered engineer) who knows you well to confirm your identity.


How does what you're saying here about UK law being respected jive with the details presented in this story?

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/facial-recogniti...


It is very interesting, but how can people without an ID card vote, open a bank account or buy a ticket for a plane? How are they identified then? I guess there must be some equivalent of ID anyway. At least in Russia you need an internal passport even to exchange the currency if the amount exceeds $611 (which is great because earlier the threshold was about $250).


Somehow people managed to vote and have bank accounts before ID cards were common.

The UK wants a National Insurance number to register to vote. https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

UK residents are sent a National Insurance number automatically just before their 16th birthday. https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number

Pulling up an arbitrary UK bank, https://www.tsb.co.uk/current-accounts/faqs/identity/ shows many options to establish identity, including ones that don't require an identification card. Those under 18, for example, can use a National Insurance card or letter.

I don't know what domestic flights are like in the UK. From what I can tell, it's left to the airlines. Most (? all?) require some sort of id, and different airlines accept different forms. For example, FlyBe allows "Council issued bus pass" and "NUS card (National Union of Students)" and "Company ID card of nationally recognised company" - https://www.flybe.com/check-in/id-requirements .

In some countries (I'm thinking Australia, based on a podcast I listened to from a couple of years ago), domestic check-in is all automated and does not always require an id check. https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/help/articles/travel-identific... says "If you’re travelling with checked baggage on a domestic flight in New Zealand, you must provide ID." "Accepted ID types" include "Original or certified copy of a birth certificate", so "ID" is pretty broad.

Something like 17 states in the US don't require any form of id to vote - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_ID_laws_in_the_United_St... - so this isn't unique to the UK.

To point out, voter impersonation - the sort of fraud which ID cards might solve - are very rare. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_impersonation_(United_St... . The vote is private, so if there was an organized system it's difficult to verify that the vote actually went the correct way. It requires a lot of people in order to sway an election, and that sort of organization has a higher chance of being detected. The list of people who voted is public, so it's also possible to track down if they actually exist, and there's the risk that a impersonator will try to impersonate someone who actually voted.

If it's important to know who someone is, then it can sometimes be solve by using a chain of trust. For example, the bank might require that a current account holder in good standing be willing to vouch for me, even if I have no id. Or, I might deposit a lot of money but have limited abilities until the bank trust me more.

Regarding the UK, see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polls_on_the_British_n... .


As I understand it, and I am not a lawyer, you don't have any obligation to identify yourself unless you are arrested.

If you get stopped in a vehicle, police may ask for your driving licence. If you don't have it you're issued a "producer" which requires you to produce your licence at a police station within 7 days. This only applies to traffic stops.


A producer is the police making life a bit easier. They don't have to do so, the offence is complete and they could charge people for it.

If you're the driver of a car and police stop you ans ask for ID you commit an offence if you refuse to identify yourself.

Section 164:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/part/VII/crossh...


Hmm, the producer seems to be covered in the act and I'm not aware of any situations where they don't apply, or someone not getting the standard 7 day. Which is not to say there aren't any.


Yes, I see that now.


I see. I hope it works out well in practice too, but I always show ID when asked, as a "just in case" scenario. I don't live in the UK though. If I were to live in the UK, and the cops asked me to do something, I would probably do as asked because I don't want any trouble or surprises! :D


I've never carried ID, nor driving licence. The few times I've been stopped it was never an issue, even the morning after an IRA bombing as I was on my way to work.

In traffic stops or getting booked for speeding I've just taken driving licence and insurance to a station on a producer.


You only have to show ID if you're stopped under the Road Traffic Act, and that only applies if you're the driver of the vehicle.

There's other powers that PCSOs have for people who've been engaged in anti-social behviour, and those powers are probably misused.

But otherwise there's no legal requirement to identify yourself to police. If they have enough to detain you then they can detain you to find out who you are. But that's not the same as just demanding ID from everyone.


It's not compulsory to carry ID so how on earth would it be compulsory to produce it upon request... It is extremely common to not carry any official form of ID in the UK.


In Russia you are not required to carry an ID, but if you don't have it then you can be taken to a police station and held for several hours to check your identity. Is not there a similar rule in UK?


Someone also said that in the UK you don't have ID cards, so you wouldn't even be able to carry something that doesn't exist.

Do you usually get frustrated at people who are trying to obtain information, or learn? If you are not write-only, you should have noticed that it has been already answered. Seems like to me that the only reason for your comment is to let out your frustration at someone who is trying to learn. Thank you.


Please don't cross into personal attack. If another comment is wrong, it's enough to give correct information.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


I didn't attack or try to attack him. He replied to my post with a seemingly frustrating attitude and used phrases to degrade me merely for asking something I didn't know. In any case, I stopped replying to him.


The word 'attack' is probably the confusing bit here, and it's not essential. The point is, if you start to comment on someone personally, e.g. about their motivations, in the context of a disagreement, it's almost certain to provoke the other person further and lead to a negative spiral. To prevent HN from being taken over by ill feelings, we all need to have the discipline not to react that way, even when another commenter is wrong or provocative.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Okay, I understand. Sorry about that. Next time I will just ignore.


[flagged]


Please don't break the site guidelines like this, regardless of what someone else posted.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


> fined for swearing at the police

Punished for speech?


That is correct. UK has no enumerated right of “free speech” as it exists in the USZ This is common in most European counties.


All speech isn't equal. Nobody has the right to use threatening or intimidating language


Telling someone to “piss off” is neither threatening nor intimidating.


Why not though? It's just language, which you can decide to ignore. Being annoying by repetitively saying something, or shouting in someone's face or ears, is of course different, but not because of the content of what has been said.


@yardie it entirely depends on the intonation and any body language. If you shout "piss off" at someone whilst acting aggressively then I would argue that it's intimidating


I'd never advocate showing anything but the upmost respect to the police.

But as a matter of policy, who is really the one being threatening here? The man bristling at the government collecting personal data or the police officer with backup and (presumably) violent means of arresting the man?


> I'd never advocate showing anything but the upmost respect to the police.

I'd advocate showing nothing but contempt to a police officer who refuses to let me go about my business when I have committed no crimes.


The people being threatened are not the police, but the other members of the public.

(I'm not saying that I agree with this, but it is the argument being used).


Where is this 'public'? Is this the same group of people who keep expressing opinions that my rights should be curtailed?

Officer, arrest them! They are intimidating me by their refusal to respect my human rights!

It's kind of a slippery slope once you start trying to carve the troublemakers out from the public. That action can even be said to be incitory by it's nature.

Perhaps the police should arrest themselves for being a walking intimidation tool for the majority?

Dirty business that. If you're not interfering in a clearly criminal act, you are just acting as an intimidation force. Unjustified weaponization of suspicion can be just as harmful to a Law Enforcement Organiztion's legitimacy as unjustified use of lethal force.

The criminals you avoid creating through mounting I'll will and despair from the inevitable taint of interacting with the legal system will be a net gain for society.

I'm not saying without Leo's there would be no criminals; rather that continual nuisance and intrusion of the Systems in law abiding citizen's lives only serves to push more of the population toward unrest.


So why is the punishment for 'swearing' instead of 'intimidating a police officer'?


> @yardie it entirely depends on the intonation and any body language. If you shout "piss off" at someone whilst acting aggressively then I would argue that it's intimidating

Well I'm sure the UK has professionals who can help you with these feelings of anxiety and dread


"piss off" is accurately interpreted as "go away and leave me alone". Whereas "fucking come on then" is often a precursor to violence.

But sure, intonation is a thing. "I beg your pardon" can be said in a threatening way.


> All speech isn't equal. Nobody has the right to use threatening or intimidating language

Is being told to "piss off" intimidating or threatening?


Police in England and Wales do have the powers to compel someone to remove a disguise, but only under specific circumstances under Section 60AA of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. It is not clear that in these circumstances they had the power to do so, although there is nothing stopping them from simply asking someone to remove a mask. This man was fined for a separate offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, due to his decision to swear at a police officer.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994/33/section/60AA

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64/section/5

It is worth noting that this trial is being conducted in the vicinity of the Westfield centre in Stratford, which has seen a number of serious violent incidents in recent years. It lies in something of a no-mans-land between the territories of various local gangs, creating a natural point of friction. There have been at least two incidents where a gang fight caused mass panic, one of which involved an acid attack. I am opposed to facial recognition technology on principle, but this seems like the most justifiable use-case; unless something is done, there's a very real risk of a mass casualty incident in the near future.


The problem is that it is a slippery slope.

How do we, as a society, reward just uses of this technology and penalize, or make impossible, unjust uses of it?


“anyone who declines to be scanned will not necessarily be viewed as suspicious”

So the police demanded to see his identification while having no grounds for suspecting that the guy had committed, or was about to commit a crime.

There are two actual situations which come to mind where the man could have been legally compelled to provide ID: a designated area under the Terrorism Act, and a traffic stop. Neither of those situations apply here.

If were in the same situation as this man, I might not be able to hold myself from telling them to piss off too.


You see someone, they notice a sign "police: cameras being used for facial recognition", one person turns away and immediately seeks to conceal their identity ... I'm sure people will come up with lots of creative reasons why the person covered up but the most likely is because they knew themselves to be a criminal the police would care about.

As you consider you would get in the same situation I'm curious why you would cover up?

Aside from that, I thought police were using facial recognition in public cctv already.

So, I suspect the sign works rather like the "pickpockets in this area" signs that /pickpockets/ put up; they encourage people to reveal themselves.

tl;dr is there a reason to cover up except hiding criminality?


> is there a reason to cover up except hiding criminality?

There are lots of reasons people might want to do this.

Including such minor ;) things like "told the wife I was going home, but I'm going out with the boys to the pub".

With your face recognised and in a database, it could then come to light at a future point. With your face not in said database, it can't. Pretty simple really.


>things like "told the wife I was going home, but I'm going out with the boys to the pub" //

Do people do that for real, beyond jokes?

So the reason is "to enable dishonesty"?

I mean everyone with a password or driving license has their face in a database.

Meanwhile, the shops you were in know that you were there, Google probably know too ...


You're really reaching.

The first question was pretty much "what reason could there possibly be, other than being a criminal?".

I just pointed out there are many "non criminal" reasons people don't want their every move tracked/stored/potentially-disclosed. That was obviously just a simple example.

Bearing in mind that what's "not criminal" in your country today may change too. You're not safely excluded. ;)


Strikes me you'd want to stop private companies tracking you first, before attempting to cripple police operations.

Yes, fascists have taken power. Similarly fascists use guns, so "police shouldn't have guns because with changes in the State this guns can be used against us"? All databases make fascist authoritarianism easier, so no databases? Computers, cars, ...

If you think that's all too much, let's step in the mid-ground -- ANPR, a good economical, efficient tool v for law enforcement or a potential fascist instrument that must be outlawed?


> is there a reason to cover up except hiding criminality?

Yes, organizing a union while avoiding the police helping to blacklist you for your efforts: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43507728


That's very troubling; but to me it seems orthogonal to the matter at hand, in a work environment is not necessary to use overt facial recognition, the absence of overt public facial recognition would seem to make no difference to the ability for police corruption (or gov corrupt use of police resources, as that may well be) to operate in that way.

Thanks for sharing; do you disagree with my analysis?


I'm not sure I understand your analysis. If masks help hide criminal acts, why wouldn't they help hide legal/moral acts? E.g. it's a lot easier to identify everyone at a protest from a photo if they're unmasked.


> is there a reason to cover up except hiding criminality

This is a pretty standard “nothing to hide” argument.


And? One sees it a lot in our town, some groups when they walk past police pull hoods down over their faces, scarves up, turn their faces away -- we have a lot of drug selling, these people match the look of those you see dealing/running (deliveries); or those who do the organised shoplifting.

Whilst the rest of us may have lots to hide, our physical appearance isn't one of those things because we don't expect to be subjects of active investigations.

Maybe that'll change?


It starts with “nothing to hide, so who cares?” It ends with the government having leverage to intimidate and blackmail its own citizens.


If it's going that way then it's simple to pass a law making hiding your face, at all, unlawful. I don't get the slippery slope argument here -- if you have power to act on it then you have power to make it lawful for you to act on it so you don't need to use overtly gathered past databases.

No need for gov to do any of this to blackmail you, plant a record with an ISP arrest you for indecency; much easier?


Sounds like someone has a lot of trust in the police.

I don't want my face to end up in any kind of database where the cops could always look up where I've been the past week and track my every movement. Neither do i want tons of recordings from different angles of my face in someone elses hands, due to how easy it is nowadays to plaster my face onto someone else.


Everyone thinks they've got nothing to hide, but that doesn't mean they should freely cede privacy. How much is your freedom worth?


>doesn't mean they should freely cede privacy. //

Because... slippery slope? Or do you have something else?


Is that your answer to how much your privacy is worth?

It's not just that it's a slippery slope or right or wrong. It comes down to efficacy, false positives, false negatives, chilling effects and abuse risks. There's also the risk of incompetence in implementation and maintenance of these systems, not to mention data leak risks. These things should all play into our conversation about how we debate whether this approach is a net positive or net negative on society. Anything less is intellectually lazy.


Ok, do I care that the police could know that I was in town on a particular day when that data is going to be used solely to match against current bolos? Not at all; similar to how I don't care my doctor knows what ailments I have.

In the same way there are risks of incompetence, and data leaks.

False positives and negatives, it strikes me that the risks there are mitigated in the same way as any other single evidentiary point is now, we don't convict people just because they match a description (whether matched by a person or computer in the first instance): that is just an early step in an evidence gathering procedure.

What seems like knee-jerk anti-authoritarian Ludditism in this thread - "they" will use it to lock us all up, we must cripple them technologically - doesn't seem to forward the conversation either, so thanks for responding.


I am not trying to insult you, but I am legitimately afraid of life in the future, because I know so many people hold your exact opinion on this.

And I believe it to be manufactured.


Fear of false positives?


Incidents like these just confirm my suspicion that the real reason UK exited EU was to complete their political experiments on spying on their citizens (both offline and online) - EU privacy laws might have proven a hurdle here.


When are we going to find a clever trick like the "License plate SQL injection" command [1] to drop database upon scanning the malicious text superimposed on a license plate.

Obviously sql injection wont work, but perhaps some sort of sunglasses, makeup, lipstick, jewelry, or hat could severely confuse the neural net's recognition algorithm, similarly to the way certain colors of faces would confuse emotion detection in camera's a while back.

edit: Don't know if this is authentic or not, but apparently there is a clothing line in Berlin that features patterns [2] meant to confuse these systems.

[1]:https://hackaday.com/2014/04/04/sql-injection-fools-speed-tr...

[2]: https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/imag...



guy told them to p* off and then they gave him the £90 public order fine for swearing,” Ms Carlo added. “He was really angry.”

Didn’t realize this was enforced.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/854625...


I had a friend who was loitering at night. When an officer approached asking him what he was doing, my friend replied something to the effect of 'none of your fucking business'. The policeman warned my friend that if he swore at him again he would be arrested. My friend replied 'what, so if I say fuck again you are going to arrest me?'

He spent the night in the cells.


V for Vendetta's due for a watch, I reckon.


Is there a formal definition of what words are considered “swearing” or is it at the discretion of the officer?


It's at the discretion of a judge if the person declines the on-the-spot fine.

Judges waver a bit on this. Here's a blog post talking about the offence, and about a 2011 case: https://www.6kbw.com/publications/articles/section-5-of-the-...

I think, but I'm not sure, that the offence isn't in the word that is used, but in how the word is used. I think if he'd said "I'm not fucking doing that" he'd have been ok, but if he says "fuck off, I'm not doing that" he isn't ok. But I'm not sure about this.

It is a bit worrying that police so frequently use public order offences and I wish they'd reduce the use of them.


Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 makes it an offence to use "threatening or abusive words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour" in a public place. Interpretation of the precise meaning of those words is a matter for the courts; this has historically been interpreted quite liberally, but Harvey v DPP established the clear distinction between words that are potentially abusive and words that actually caused harassment, alarm or distress.

Broadly speaking, you're OK to swear in front of a police officer, but you'll get nicked if you swear at a police officer, which strikes me as a reasonable compromise between liberty and civility.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64/section/5

http://www.mondaq.com/uk/x/175956/Public+Order/Section+5+Of+...


I think the guidance (if not the law) to the police is that they have to tell the potential offender not to use those words, or "don't swear at me" first, and if they still continue then they can be nicked. So they have to know that what they are doing is abusive first.

In other words you can swear at the police but only once!


What about swearing at another person who is not a police officer? The law sounds like it prohibits that too.


It is a defence for the accused to prove—

that he had no reason to believe that there was any person within hearing or sight who was likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress, or [...] that his conduct was reasonable.

The police aren't going to get involved if you use robust language at 10pm in a pub. They may well get involved if you start screaming obscenities in the supermarket.


I don't think a list of specific words would be useful. Otherwise you could wish someone asphyxiation due to a foreign body erect in their throat and claim it's not swearing, technically.


Its not swearing though. You want people locked up for saying "please officer stop bothering us" cause its analogous with 'piss off'?

We have to decide whether expressing a (legal but unfriendly) sentiment is illegal, or only some wordings of a (legal but unfriendly) sentiment are illegal.

Actually we don't have to decide, and the police will be quite happy, its a catch-all law; they get to arrest anyone they don't like and the public get to live in a legal grey area where they are only safe if they grovel and plead, its a minefield, tell me again why can't we have freedom of speech?


The law is pretty clear.

>A section 5 offence comprises two elements:

> A person must (a) use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or (b) display any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting; and

> The words or behaviour, or writing, sign of other visible representation must be within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.

This is all intepreted by the courts and they do push back against police misuse of the act.


Threatening, abusive, harassment even alarm are all superfluous words to make insulting and distressed look better, really, to answer my own question;

why can't we have freedom of speech? Cause we are a society distressingly terrified of being insulted.


>“The guy told them to p* off and then they gave him the £90 public order fine for swearing,” Ms Carlo added. “He was really angry.”

The fine was not for covering his face. It was for swearing.

People often forget that the UK is a monarchy and does not have rights like free speech.


Actually we do. Under both common law, and statute via the Human Rights Act. What does being a monarchy have to do with it?

Say anything you damn well like unless it has been proscribed by Statute. Examples include inciting racial hatred or as here the provisions of this public order law.


>Actually we do. Under both common law, and statute via the Human Rights Act.

Then why was a man fined for telling an officer to piss off for invading his privacy?


It's one of the situations that have been proscribed. In this case by the Public Order Act 1986.

Personally I think this provision in law an overreach, but the general point stands. Say anything you like unless it's been specifically prohibited.


> It's one of the situations that have been proscribed. In this case by the Public Order Act 1986.

You just claimed you have free speech. Now you're citing a specific law making it illegal to not be deferential enough to police. These two points conflict.


I am aware of NO nation on earth that has unconstrained free speech, including the USA. I believe the famous canonical example in a US context is shouting fire in a crowded theatre, and therefore speech opposing the draft.

I see no conflict whatsoever.


>I am aware of NO nation on earth that has unconstrained free speech, including the USA. I believe the famous canonical example in a US context is shouting fire in a crowded theatre, and therefore speech opposing the draft.

How is telling someone "leave me alone", but not respectfully enough, in any way comparable to causing a panic that leads to a crush?


UK law chose to add a restriction for abusive or threatening language. The edge is in a different place, that's all. I don't think the UK has ever restricted speaking out against conscription, the US used to. Different countries, different restrictions.

It is still free speech within the legislated exclusions set by the two countries. No one gets fined or imprisoned for standing outside parliament complaining about the government all day etc.

In accepting the penalty without disputing it in court, we'll never know if a court would have upheld this case as a reasonable fine or interpretation of the law.


In Belgium, covering your face in public has been illegal for at least as long as I've been alive. It's not usually strictly enforced (e.g. scarves in winter are fine), but it's nevertheless the law.

When I was maybe 6 years old, I was dressed up as a Ninja Turtle, and got reprimanded by the police because the outfit included a mask.


Surely that reprimand was the officer just cracking a (perhaps poory thought out) joke?


No. It’s a big thing because of the Muslim veils.


In Austria it's also illegal to cover your face in public.

The only exceptions are cold weather, job, traditional costumes. Here is a great infographic about it. As can be seen, the law was originally against muslim women. But if it works equally well to support facial recognition – awesome.

https://media.diepresse.com/images/uploads_1152/6/3/6/528952...

(edit: forgot some exceptions)



I feel like there may be a need in the future to come up with trendy facial coverings. Might be useful to combine them with practical features like partical filters. Its also insane how you can be fined for swearing. Sounds like the police where harrasing some random guy and they expressed frustration in a non violent and ordinary way.


I think the simpler approach is to put the police back on the leash. There are no real technical solutions to problems with the law. The law needs to be changed to stop police acting this way.


UK govt have been slowly chipping away at freedoms we took for granted for decades. The Daily Mail is constantly campaigning to "do something" over some trivial thing or another.

Putting the police back on the leash seems unlikely, to say the least.


The makeup ideas are already out there: https://cvdazzle.com/


The ideas there appear to consist of using the hair, or attached fake hair, as a mask; or attaching fragments of a mask (particular reflective pieces) to the skin.

They seem mostly very obviously designed as masks.


There was that face painting thing from a couple of years back, don’t know how effective it was though: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/07/makeu...


In Italy there is a Law that prevents from having face/head covered in public that dates back to the terrorism years (1970's).

http://www.edizionieuropee.it/LAW/HTML/46/zn81_03_001.html#_...

It is rarely (or never) actually enforced, as it prohibits specifically to wear "in public places or in places open to the public" (unless there are specific reasons) helmets (including motorcycle ones) and "any other means that may make difficult recognising the person", which would include scarfs. hoods and similar.


I do not believe that there is a technical solution for this political problem.


Argh c'mon. This is just getting increasingly dystopian and Orwellian. I don't like this.


We can't stop omnipresent surveillance, because if someone chooses to put cameras on their store-front that's their business, but apparently we can stop people trying to avoid this surveillance.


There's a reason Airstrip One was the UK.


It would be great to tell the anti-vaxxers that facial recognition cameras cause autism. Two problems solved!


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burqa is a religious tradition


Well that's one kind of a...sardonic response. I'm imagining a dystopia where people wear Burqas in order to evade facial recognition. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if facial recognition is sine qua non conceptually haram. Will there be some such standoff one day between Wahhabists and proto-centrist, pro-surveillance warhawks? What an odd world we live in.


although there are some legitimate concerns about privacy, the tradeoff here seems worth it.

if it were expanded to everywhere in London I believe we will catch criminals quicker.


"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither." -Benjamin Franklin


If you are going to throw out the quote, please learn the actual correct quote: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." If fact, it would probably serve you well to learn that actual context of the quote as well (hint: it is not about the conflict between government power and individual liberty...)


"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither." -nichos

Better?


At the cost of privacy? Wouldn't that make a huge part of the population "criminals"? They hardly teach law in UK schools meaning most of the population may be unaware of some of the smaller offences which are usually not much of an issue. It could also be used to wrongly place you at a scene where you had nothing to do with it.


>I believe we will catch criminals quicker

That’s a good lad, they have trained you well.

Surely omnipresent and forced surveillance could never be used against YOU... you’re a good boy.

To have so little vision of the past, present, and future. Must be blissful!




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