Archive, October 10, 2017, how tattoos help police
The relationship between tattoos and security originates from the need for
U.S. Metropolitan Police forces, in the ‘70s of the last century, on one side to delimit, through graffiti, urban areas of gangs competence, and, on the other hand, to associate individuals to the gangs. The tattoo was initially used as a symbol of belonging to the South American gangs but quickly extended its function to the other youth organized crime, on the Japanese Yakuza model and with anthropological distinguishable characteristics.
Parallels and thus has increased the purpose of the tattoo as an observation
factor of the prison population: in addition to the historical use in prisons, the translation of gangs into US punishment institutions has resulted in a more incisive analysis of the flows and of the referential, deferential and sedentary criminal characteristics.
Subsequently, two factors have contributed to increasing the security interest for this recognition and visual identification element: the first, the spread of the phenomenon in the last twenty-five years indistinguishably from the different social classes, thus no longer ‘niche’; the second, increased technological capacity to identify and process the image.
In 2015, the NIST (U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology),
together with the FBI, initiated a multiple steps research project aimed to develop technologies for the recognition and assessment of tattoos; on the other hand companies that offer reliable biometric products for commercial use have long been on the market.
The advantage of using private security is obvious: it goes to overlap, on a confirmation and alternative basis, to facial recognition in indoor and open environments. Through AI that use machine learning algorithms, with appropriate data sets,
they can place the tattooed in environmental and social contexts, as well as classify them in the repeated presences and/or their previous danger and of the group of which the tattoo is common symbol.
The counterpoint is always individual privacy and the implications about new technology and the right to anonymity of each one, similar to those relating to facial recognition.
This post was originally published on October 10, 2017, in Italian version on www.thescanner.info .This is adaptation of a neuronal Italian/English AI translation by IBM Watson.