A face in 128 points

NYS drivers license sample 2016The Cuomo admin is touting an upgraded state DMV facial recognition system that launched earlier this year -- the admin says the system is intended to help catch fraud and identity theft, and it's prompted "more than 100 arrests and 900 open cases since it launched in January."

A clip from the press release that we thought was interesting:

The upgraded system increases the number of measurement points on the face from 64 to 128, doubling the number of measurement points mapped to each digitized driver photograph and vastly improving the system's ability to match a photograph to one already in the database. The system also allows for the ability to overlay images, invert colors, and convert images to black and white to better see scars and identifying features on the face. Different hair styles, glasses, and other features that change over time - including those that evolve as a subject ages - do not prevent the system from matching photographs. DMV will not issue a driver license or non-driver ID until the newly captured photograph is cleared through the facial recognition system.
Since the facial recognition technology was implemented in 2010, more than 3,800 individuals have been arrested for possessing multiple licenses. Additionally, more than 10,800 facial recognition cases have been solved administratively, without the need for an arrest. If the transactions are too old to pursue criminal prosecution, DMV is still able to hold subjects accountable by revoking licenses and moving all tickets, convictions, and crashes to the individual's true record.

The Cuomo admin says almost half of the people tagged so far are accused of using a stolen identity in order to get a new license because their old license has been suspended or revoked.

You can probably imagine a future where this sort of tech is more widespread. So while reports on the numbers "successful" cases is fine and good, it'll also be interesting -- in both a governmental watchdog sense and a tech sense -- to see reporting of the rate of false positives (that is, cases where the system says yes, fraudster, but it doesn't end up being true). Just because something's based on an algorithm doesn't it can't also sometimes be wrong or biased. [Motherboard]

In a future that includes all sorts of algorithmic-based screening and enforcement -- where we're all depending more on computers getting things right -- it'll be important to know how often the computers are getting it wrong, too.

image: NYS DMV

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Drawing: Beer dinner at City Beer Hall

The City Beer Hall has a special dinner lined up for next Monday featuring beers from Common Roots Brewing and Peekskill Brewery (like bookends on... (more)

Gnome away from home

A post shared by Henry Bellagnome (@tourism_gnome) on Jul 1, 2017 at 9:32am PDT This is an Instagram account of a garden gnome --... (more)

If you've been wanting to take one of those State Education building tours, don't wait

Quick follow-up on that new series of monthly tours of the beautiful state Education Building: they are very popular. The tour dates for September, October,... (more)

Neba Sandwich from Mike's Neba

Whoever coined the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" probably didn't mean for the quip to apply to a sandwich. Hey, love comes in... (more)

Tours at Oakwood Cemetery

The historic Oakwood Cemetery in Troy has a handful of tours coming up over the next few months. Each guided walk has it own... (more)

Recent Comments

I'm concerned how much demolition is going on here. Too many important, historic buildings in Albany are already tagged with an 'X' and the city's approach seems to tear down and ask questions later. Not only are these homes part of the city's history but they are what makes this place unique and they should be treasured- not trashed. In addition, these structures are better built and will last longer than new construction. ...

Drawing: Beer dinner at City Beer Hall

...has 25 comments, most recently from Brian

Gnome away from home

...has 1 comment, most recently from Justin

Morning Blend for Aug 22

...has 1 comment, most recently from Lauren Alpert

Finding refuge: Rifat Filkins

...has 1 comment, most recently from Eric F

How to commemorate a traitor

...has 4 comments, most recently from Eric Scheirer Stott