The LRB points out a new program in the UK, leading up to the Olympics, that is using an app to report on suspected criminals:
Today, as the web is being undermined by the rapid dominance of apps for smartphones and tablets, the Iranian police would probably, as the jargon has it, ‘go multiplatform’. That, at any rate, is what their colleagues in the Metropolitan Police have just done: unveiling, ahead of the Olympics, a new app called Facewatch ID.
You enter your postcode, and are shown CCTV images of people committing minor crimes in your area. If you recognise anyone, you can let the police know straightaway using the app. The idea is that, if popular, the app will work as a deterrent while also allowing the general public to share in the burdens – and joys – of policing.
The police – or the people who provide them with the technology – may be hoping for other, less obvious benefits from the new system, which could help prepare the ground for fully automated facial recognition systems.