Police Use AI & Clearview in Surveillance: Artificial Intelligence in Facial Recognition

Irfan Eralp Kavakli

· 3 min read
Police Use AI & Clearview in Surveillance: Artificial Intelligence in Facial Recognition


Facial recognition is no longer a concept relegated to the world of science fiction; it's a part of our reality. This post examines how law enforcement agencies, notably police departments, are integrating AI facial recognition technology into their operations.

A Brief History: Facial Recognition in Police Use

The use of facial recognition technology by police is not entirely new. As early as 2021, several enforcement agencies had started to experiment with this technology. However, 2022 has seen a more robust adoption and a growing database of facial records.

The Technology: How Does it Work?

AI facial recognition software works by mapping the geometry of a person's face and comparing it to a database of known faces. The system uses complex algorithms to make accurate identifications in real-time, significantly aiding investigative efforts.

Law Enforcement Agencies: Who Is Using It?

Both local and federal agencies, including local police departments and federal investigative units, are increasingly relying on facial recognition technology to identify people in various situations.

Georgetown Law: The Legal Backdrop

Georgetown Law has published several reports scrutinizing the use of this technology by police, focusing on ethical and legal implications. These reports have led to a more comprehensive understanding of how to regulate the use of the technology.

Applications: Where is it Being Used?

Criminal Investigations

One of the most significant applications is in criminal investigations. Police use facial recognition to scan surveillance footage and identify suspects quickly.

Federal Agencies

Federal agencies have used facial recognition technology at border checkpoints and airports to identify persons of interest.

Controversies and Ethical Implications

The use of facial recognition technology is not without its controversies. Privacy advocates argue that it may infringe on individual freedoms and could be subject to misuse.

The Future: What Does 2024 Hold?

The future is promising but needs to be approached cautiously. As the database grows and the software becomes more sophisticated, police and other law enforcement agencies will likely continue to find new uses for this technology.


The use of AI facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies has provided an invaluable tool for investigative work. However, this adoption comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities. Balancing technological advancement with ethical considerations is essential for the responsible use of this powerful tool.

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and does not serve as legal advice.

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