I couldn’t help myself — in 1971, The Undisputed Truth (and The Temptations) released the song, Smiling Faces Sometimes. It is interesting that in 2020, the undisputed truth and faces (more precisely facial recognition software) are making a comeback.

Face recognition software is certain to become more widely used in criminal investigations. This recent article in the New York Times highlights its current use by law enforcement, some of its apparent utility in solving crime and some of the problems associated with its use. For those of us practicing law in the Tampa Bay area, the apparent pioneering use of this technology by law enforcement in Florida, places an additional level of interest.

The anecdotes related in the article and the court cases discussed, highlight the importance for criminal law practitioners make specific discovery requests for all information relating to the use of face recognition software in the identification of defendants. It is apparent that the use of face recognition applications may not be fully set out in police reports and, unless practitioners are astute and diligent in ferreting out the use of this technology, its use may go undiscovered.