The Dangers of Facial Recognition

January 22, 2021

The Dangers of Facial Recognition

Facial recognition technology is slowly becoming normalized in our society. The details of each individual face is documented and what’s collected is a ‘facial signature’ that can be identified world wide. We use facial recognition at airports, different venues, public spaces, by law enforcement, and even on our own phones.


With a lack of regulation and legislation surrounding it, facial recognition can be an extremely invasive security and privacy issue, especially if certain data gets into the wrong hands. 


While there are benefits to facial recognition, such as the assistance in identifying criminals or the convenience of security checks in an airport, arises is the normalization of public surveillance.

This type of surveillance can be abused by law enforcement as we see examples of it in areas like China where people can be arrested for jaywalking caught on public surveillance cameras and facial recognition technologies.


Another issue with relying on facial recognition is the fact that technology can sometimes be wrong. People can sometimes have very similar facial features to others and that can create errors. 


A recent study showed that facial recognition sees more errors surrounding people of colour due to darker features that may be more difficult for certain technologies to read.


We’re seeing a few states in the U.S. beginning to address these issues with proper legislation, however, this is only the beginning and the growth of technology is moving at a much faster pace than the laws that should be in place to surround them.


What you can do right now is try to limit the usage of facial recognition services for non-essential activities. The less data that is collected on you now, the less of a security threat you may face in the future.


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