Home Articles Why is Facial Recognition Tech Controversial

Why is Facial Recognition Tech Controversial


The use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement and private firms is raising privacy concerns worldwide. Read on to know more…

Facial recognition is a convenient way to unlock your phone or computer, according to some privacy activists but it’s becoming more and more controversial. Over the past several years, the use of facial recognition has stoked global invasion of privacy fears. The use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement and private firms is raising privacy concerns worldwide.

About Facial Recognition Technology
How does this facial recognition technology even work? Facial recognition technology can identify a person from a photo or video. It compares selected facial features to faces within a database, and can analyze facial textures and shapes to verify a person.  Facial recognition is performed in 2 steps. Step 1 is that features are extracted and selected from an image. Step 2 is the classification of objects or features.

Facial Recognition can be implemented either as a fully automated system or as a semi-automated system. With the former, no human intervention is required, but with the latter, some degree of it is mandatory. This is the preferred method to be used when deploying a Facial Recognition device.

Why Controversial
So why is this technology so controversial? It seems to be helping consumers with convenience, and helping with security measures and more. But there is a flip side to every pro that comes with facial recognition software.

Scanning people’s faces as they lawfully go about their daily lives, to identify them, is a potential threat to privacy that should concern all of us. That is especially the case if it is done without people’s knowledge or understanding.

Privacy Issues
Privacy is a major concern for many when it comes to facial recognition. Innocently using Facebook’s photo tools to tag your friends opens you up to facial recognition technology, which can be used without your knowledge. Experts say that people would be shocked to learn how facial recognition tech is used. And little regulation on facial recognition means companies aren’t expected to follow rules on maintaining privacy for individuals. For many advocates, privacy violations are the top concern with this technology.

Hacking Issues
Similarly, the facial recognition databases aren’t immune to hacking. This means that the information could get into the wrong hands, and then be used in malicious ways. Other governments and hackers could gain access to your picture, and any information stored along with it, including your driver’s license number, license plates, and more. This kind of information can be dangerous when it’s in the wrong hands. Cybersecurity measures will have to continue to get stronger to protect all these facial data, and keep hackers at bay.

Accuracy Issues
The facial recognition software is not perfect and can make mistakes. This could lead to people being false accused or charged of crimes, which is a huge issue. There are two types of errors that facial recognition software can have, a false negative, or a false positive. A false negative is when the software fails to match a person’s face that is in their database. A false positive is when the face is recognized by the system, but the match is actually incorrect. Both of these errors can create huge issues for the organizations that are using software, and for the public in general.


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