Detroit City Council votes to renew DPD's facial recognition contract

Posted at 5:24 AM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 18:15:59-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The Detroit City Council voted 6 to 3 Tuesday to renew the controversial use of facial recognition technology in the city.

Related: Detroit demonstrators calling for city to cease use of facial recognition technology

Related: Duggan: Facial recognition a good tool when used properly

In July, Detroit's three-year, $1 million-contract with software provider DataWorks Plus expired. DPD indicated it planned to ask City Council for $220,00 to extend the purchase-agreement, but cited it needed more "community outreach" first.

Since the contract was first approved in July 2017, DPD's handling of the software has come under fire.

Concerns have ranged from surveillance and privacy issues to accuracy and misidentification problems. And while Chief James Craig has maintained the software is merely an investigative tool, with trained analysts ensuring misidentifications don't happen, in the last two months news has come out about two different Detroiters being wrongly arrested due to misidentifications by the tech.