Outrage Grows Over AI Speed Cameras Capturing Drivers’ Faces


New speed cameras are causing controversy as they are now equipped with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) that captures drivers’ faces and sends them to the police. This move comes in response to reports indicating that a significant number of UK drivers are still using handheld devices while driving, with estimates suggesting up to 400,000 offenders.

Privacy advocates are alarmed by the introduction of AI-powered cameras, expressing concerns over the potential implications for personal privacy. These cameras are designed to take two images of drivers – one to detect phone usage near the ear and another to identify devices on their laps.

Authorities have sought to allay fears by assuring that the photos are anonymised to conceal identifiable details like number plates, passengers, and vehicle make. Only in cases of prosecution are these images linked to registration information.

Jake Hurfurt, head of research at privacy group Big Brother Watch, voiced his apprehension, arguing against the use of unproven AI technology for surveillance purposes. He emphasized the need to safeguard individuals’ privacy and cautioned against the normalization of intrusive surveillance practices.

Despite these concerns, surveillance cameras on busy roads in Devon have already identified multiple offenses, including drivers not wearing seatbelts. The integration of these cameras into existing speed camera systems is aimed at promoting road safety and reducing risky behaviors behind the wheel.

While some motorists acknowledge the dangers of using phones while driving, others worry about the broader implications of increased surveillance, drawing parallels to dystopian visions of pervasive monitoring. As discussions around privacy and security continue, the use of AI in traffic enforcement remains a contentious issue with implications for individual liberties and societal norms.

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Advait Gupta
Advait Gupta
Advait is our expert writer and manager for the Artificial Intelligence category. His passion for AI research and its advancements drives him to deliver in-depth articles that explore the frontiers of this rapidly evolving field. Advait's articles delve into the latest breakthroughs, trends, and ethical considerations, keeping readers at the forefront of AI knowledge.

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