The Use Of Facial Recognition Technology On Society

1236 WordsOct 10, 20175 Pages
Developed in the 1960s, facial recognition technology has been used by the government and companies to identify people by matching them to photos. By 2001, the novelty of more powerful and rapid facial recognition technology grasped the public’s attention. During the January 2001 Super Bowl, surveillance cameras captured images of the crowd to find people with criminal records (FBI 2013). This potential invasion of privacy under the pretense of public safety sparked a public debate about the government taking private information from citizens. So what limitations should be put on the use of facial recognition software in America in order to keep the public feeling secure? In recent years, many companies who use this technology claim it is…show more content…
Most police departments still rely on officers to verify that the suspect chosen by the face recognition software actually matches the camera footage. However, humans shockingly make an error in this process once in every two cases (Bedoya, Alvaro, et al 2016). In some instances, it is not only this human error that is leading to false convictions but rather the system itself. A study, co-authored by the FBI, noted that the facial recognition software is less accurate when identifying African Americans. Systems relying on mugshot databases have a disproportionate number of African Americans due to their high arrest rates in America. This creates “racial biased error rates” that perpetuate implicit and systemic racism in our society (Bedoya, Alvaro, et al 2016). This presents yet another reason regulations should be put in place solely to limit the use of this technology to cases where its use is essential to solving a crime. Another common and inappropriate use of facial recognition technology exists in many social media platforms and systems. In the current social media domain, when you post or are tagged in a photo, you are, in essence, saying goodbye to anonymity and the right to privacy that we value socially and culturally. Photos from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can all be used online to create an unintended profile: your “face print”. Using this “face print”,
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