NYPD used photo of Woody Harrelson to find lookalike beer thief: report

NEW YORK — A report says the New York Police Department used a photo of Woody Harrelson in its facial recognition program in an attempt to identify a beer thief who looked like the actor.

Actor Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson at the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology highlighted the April 2017 episode in a report Thursday on what it says are flawed practices in law enforcement’s use of facial recognition.

The report says Harrelson’s photo produced several possible matches, and contributed to one arrest. Harrelson’s photo was used because security footage was too pixelated.

The NYPD says facial recognition is only a means of producing leads and that no one has been arrested because of a facial match alone.

The Georgetown report says facial recognition has helped the NYPD crack about 2,900 cases in more than five years of using the technology.

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