Facial recognition technology

Embedded facial recognition capabilities are becoming more common across a wide range of technologies, so it’s important Police understands the parameters and potential consequences of the use of this kind of technology.

Dr Nessa Lynch (an Associate Professor at Victoria University of Wellington) and Dr Andrew Chen (a Research Fellow at the University of Auckland) are two of New Zealand’s leading experts and academic researchers in the field of facial recognition technology. Over a six-month period Dr Lynch and Dr Chen will explore the current and possible future uses of facial recognition technology and what it means for policing in New Zealand communities

The scope of their work will include:

  • defining facial recognition technology
  • categorising the spectrum of use and its potential effect on individual and collective rights and interests
  • exploring what Police currently does in this space, and what planned and unused capability exists within the organisation
  • providing insights and evidence into international practice and operational advantages for public safety and crime control, as well as Treaty of Waitangi, ethics, privacy and human rights implications
  • producing a paper with advice and recommendations on the safe and appropriate use of facial recognition technology in New Zealand policing.

Police anticipates publishing the final paper once it has been reviewed internally, including by the newly established Expert Panel on Emergent Technologies.