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Meet Porcha Woodruff, Detroit Woman Jailed While 8 Months Pregnant After False AI Facial Recognition

Written by on 09/08/2023

Porcha Woodruff was eight months pregnant when Detroit police mistakenly arrested her for robbery and carjacking based on a faulty facial recognition match. She was held in jail for 11 hours, where she started having contractions, and had to be taken to the hospital upon her release on a $100,000 bond. “Being under that type of stress could have ultimately led me to lose my child,” says Woodruff. According to the ACLU, Woodruff is at least the sixth person — all of whom are Black — to report being falsely accused of a crime as a result of facial recognition technology. It is yet another case of what has been termed algorithmic bias, in which technology is trained on biased information, automating and further cementing existing oppression. “No one would take what I was saying seriously. It was as if I was already a suspect,” says Woodruff about her experience. She and attorney Ivan Land are now suing the city of Detroit for false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

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