Is Facial Recognition Flawed?
The future of facial recognition
When it comes to security and personal identification, technology is picking up for when companies need verification of a person immediately. This is being incorporated into high risk and high-security areas such as airports, corporate facilities, and government offices. It is also starting to be used in retail to help people make payments.
What is Facial Recognition?
Facial recognition uses a program to identify a person from a digital image. The facial features of a person are saved in a master database. This database can be connected with any type of organization. This is growing as the technology improves.
How does it Work?
Facial recognition uses the key features of a face as a blueprint. The face is measured after a picture is taken and the distance between the eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows, and the forehead are measured. This makes it easier to link the key features of one person in a database for the purposes of identification. If a later captured image is run through this program, it should match up with the features on the original photo.
There are different types of software that is being developed to help companies “read” a person’s face. Zonal OCR or Optical Character Recognition is scanning software designed to read documents as the new facial recognition technology reads and records the human face. They are both systems designed to read details and recognize specific characteristics.
How is it used?
Facial recognition is being added to businesses for the purpose of identification on many different levels. It is already being incorporated into some law enforcement bureaus to be used by the police to match criminal offenders to new crimes.
Facial recognition is turning up at casinos in some areas to help people break their gambling addictions. This is a voluntary system already in use in Canada. The person with the addiction signs up to be on the banned list for their casinos. The person would be removed from the premises if they show up to try to gamble.
Facial recognition is also being added at local airports to help people check-in and board their flights faster. This allows for the person to jump lines faster and avoid checkpoints with nothing more than a casual stop for a facial recognition scan.
Is it Dangerous?
Facial recognition is not dangerous except by those that will misuse the software. It is a terrific tool for future speed and crime enforcement, but it is also flawed and open to extreme misuse. Currently, the error rate of the program is 0.8% or lower, but it does identify the wrong person frequently enough for it to be a problem.
The software has trouble identifying the features of anyone of African American descent. This makes the software biased and more likely to identify the wrong person. This can be an extreme problem for any person living regular lives.
Retailer tracking is currently using facial recognition to track personal buying habits. They are building customer profiles using their own habits to target more advertising to them. Some people consider this an invasion of privacy.
Hackers have also found their way into databases of some companies and used the facial features of some of the company employees to hack their way further into the databases. Biometrics are becoming the downfall of some companies as they are attacked from outside.
What is the future of Facial Recognition?
The future of facial recognition is mixed. There are some companies that are embracing technology as a way to help streamline their own operations and security measures. Others fear that it will be used incorrectly by governments and police agencies. There are not future guarantees of how it will be used or if something better will take its place. Current incorporation of the technology is showing the flaws in the programming and the security risks, though it is also showing how it can make life easier depending on who uses it and how it is used.