Advance Analytics

Facial Recognition: Solving Crimes or Threating Privacy

Rashmi JainFebruary 12, 2020

The face recognition technology has been widely used in various public sectors and has gained a lot of recognition for both its merits and demerits. A computer program is used to automatically verify and identify the person’s face from a digital image or a video frame with high accuracy. The program selects various facial features from the image and compares it with the database; the authentication of a person could also be done using hardware. Considering the high accuracy output, the technology is extensively used in biometric systems for identification, verification, authentication, and authorization.

The system works by reading the input image and then pre-processing it to remove the unwanted element from the image. Then the image is compared to the database, and the system displays the matching image with the percentage of similarity between the input image and the face in the database. Many major organizations, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Facebook, Apple, ASUS, and others, are using the facial recognition system.

The state and federal governments in many countries have adopted this technology to catch criminals. Recently, London police have announced to surveillance the streets to spot and catch criminals. The use of this technology is more prevalent in China, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the USA. Also, there has been news that airports will adopt this to replace boarding pass.

There has been a lot of concern about how this data would be used by the government. The technology was implemented across nations without much public discussion. Many residents feel like the agencies have been ‘spying’ on them regularly. Few of the outdated system has less accuracy and higher bias specifically for women and minorities; it has caused a lot of public outcry against the use of this technology at public platforms. There would always be a concern about the security and privacy of the data. A breach could lead to loss of biometric information and personal details. The security of such sensitive information would be very crucial.

The concerns are valid, and so are the benefits of this technology. The image of ‘wanted’ criminals could be fed to the system, and it would automatically inform as soon as the face is detected anywhere in the video camera. This would make it possible to catch the criminal who would avoid detection otherwise. The issues of accuracy and security must be dealt with high priority to avoid certain situations. Apart from a few concerns, the use of facial recognition technology will improve the safety of people in a society.

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