Guillermo Ibarrolla facial recognition wrongful arrest

Occurred: October 2023

An Argentinian man was arrested in Buenos Aires on the basis that he had been identified by a facial recognition system for a crime he had not committed.

Arrested in Buenos Aires when he was heading home on the subway for an armed robbery that had occurred in July 2019 in a city 400 miles away, Guillermo Ibarrolla spent nearly a week in custody ‘in brutal conditions’ before being informed that he had been wrongly identified due to a data input error involving a fugitive who shared the same name. 

The incident highlighted flaws in the system's accuracy, and concerns about privacy. Buenos Aires' Fugitive Facial Recognition System or Sistema de Reconocimiento Facial de Prófugos (SNRP) system was deactivated in March 2020 after it had been found to have caused 140 wrongful arrests or police checks.

Operator: Government of the City of Buenos Aires; Buenos Aires City Police; Argentine Ministry of Justice and Security; ReNaPer
Developer: NtechLab; Danaide  
Country: Argentina
Sector: Govt - municipal; Govt - police
Purpose: Identify/track criminals
Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Privacy; Surveillance
Transparency: Governance; Complaints/appeals