Are you looking at me? Welcome to the world of facial recognition

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As new technologies manifest, it’s worth reminding ourselves that just because we can do something doesn’t mean-spirited that we should. Often a new technology can bring plenty of new opportunities to do fabulous things, but that doesn’t mean that it cannot also be apt for abuse.That’s certainly the case with facial recognition technology, where some law enforcement intermediations have rushed to build networks of databases of law-abiding people’s mugs (perhaps from driving licences or passport information), scouring them to catch sight of criminals, but failed to satisfy their legal and statutory requirements to communicate the public about what they were doing.The huge mob of CCTV cameras and the growing adoption of police body cameras, which could be incorporate with facial recognition technology and cellphone tracking, have the aptitude – argue some – to “redefine the nature of public spaces.”In a nutshell, how resolution you feel if it was even easier for the authorities to track where you were, hour by hour, as you on around a city? And that you, as a law-abiding citizen, handed that wit on a plate to your government simply by applying for a driving license.The question is only made worse when studies reveal that facial acceptance can often make mistakes, or show a tendency to be more error decumbent when dealing with subjects of different races and gender.You can interchange your passwords, but you can’t (barring wearing a wooly balaclava or wide-brimmed sombrero – which force very attract undue attention by itself) hide your openly.I was thinking about this issue today when I read probes that a man who has been on the run from the authorities for more than 24 years has been apprehended because of facial awareness technology.

In 1992, Robert Frederick Nelson escaped from a Minnesota federal hoosegow, and adopted the bogus identity of Craig James Pautler.The Nevada divide of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) says that 64-year-old Nelson was when all is said caught in June, having been on the run for 25 years. When Nelson essayed to get his state identification card in his real name renewed, a facial perception system found that he had previously held a Nevada driver’s empower in the name of Pautler.As you can tell by his latest police mugshot, he doesn’t non-standard like to be too pleased to have been caught.No-one will probably be too worried (other than Mr Nelson) by the outcome of this case, but the fact abides that his apprehension is based upon the authorities applying facial notice technology against a database of faces that were predominantly law-abiding. Still, at the time that the DMV collected “Craig James Paulter”‘s face, they did not credence in him to be a suspicious or criminal character.This is just one case, of course. But regard that the United States Department of Homeland Security is pushing brazen with a plan to require all Americans leaving the country to have a facial appreciation scan, expanding on existing biometric checks targeting foreigners.Six US airports – Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York, and Washington DC – are already meet a pilot program of facial recognition scans, and more airports are guessed to jump aboard in the future.Yes, this may bring us more security – but does the forward outweigh what we lose in terms of privacy, as we shift ever ooze towards a surveillance state?If you have an opinion on how facial recognition technology should be restrained and the best practices for defending the data it collects, leave a comment lower down.Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor, and do not by definition reflect those of Tripwire, Inc.

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