Some of our favourite old sci-fi movies use facial recognition, and it was a futuristic tech advancement that seemed unreal. Today, we use facial recognition worldwide while we don’t have space ships to travel to distant galaxies.
Facial recognition is implemented into many things, including law enforcement, airport security, and even unlocking our cell phones. It is very effective at identifying a person’s face through biometric mapping. While it is an accurate tool for access requirements, there is a lot of controversy around it because of privacy issues.
Here are eight pros and cons of facial recognition on society.
1. Facial recognition helps criminal identification
Law enforcement agencies can use facial recognition to help identify criminals using live CCTV cameras to map faces and compare them to their databases. Wanted lists can be quickly scanned to find positive matches, which will speed up the apprehension and prosecution of felons.
2. Facial recognition locates missing persons
When a person goes missing, especially a child, the faster they are found, the better, anything that aids in their recovery should be used, and facial recognition works in real-time. Any matches picked up on cameras can be quickly followed, given the location and time they were in the location.
There are also databases where people can upload pictures of suspected missing persons and verify them. Implemented ageing software can also aid in helping find abducted children that have been missing for years.
3. Facial recognition improves safety and security
Video face recognition can be used to identify criminals and other threats like weapons. It can detect people using surveillance, so security guards can stop entrance into businesses, events or other private spaces.
If a business is burglarized, the software may also help identify and track thieves. Airport security screening has implemented this technology, and it can scan their high-traffic areas of people to find known criminals travelling.
Facial recognition is used as a tech password for devices like computers, tablets and smartphones, too, making it impossible to gain access to someone’s electronics.
4. Facial recognition reduces security touch points
As we are worried about touching surfaces, facial recognition can replace pin pads and key cards. We are more concerned than ever about spreading disease, so having a recognition method without touching a device is good.
Facial recognition helps with security because key cards can get stolen and allow anyone to enter a building. Passcodes may be shared, letting multiple people use them for unlawful entry. Facial recognition eliminates this.
5. Facial recognition makes processing more efficient
An advantage of facial recognition is its ability to identify people at an airport. The technology can detect your identity quickly instead of checking a passport, which will save time. Long lines can be reduced, and the whole system becomes more efficient.
This can be implemented in other areas like bank machines. It can speed up business transactions by making payments using biometrics instead of regular methods.
6. Facial recognition threatens privacy and personal freedom
People don’t want their identity recorded and stored without their permission, and facial recognition can be seen as violating their privacy. If your picture is run through criminal databases, it is like treating people as suspects without probable cause.
The feeling of being watched and your movements monitored will affect people’s behaviour. No one wants to be recorded, and if you fear being watched, you may not want to go out of frequent a store or public place that uses facial recognition.
7. Facial recognition can be expensive
There are costs to implementing a new security system. Installing cameras and buying computers with specific software to run tracking and maintain databases will be an extra cost for businesses. There is also staff that will need to operate and maintain this equipment.
For use in law enforcement and gov’t. security measures, that cost will be paid through tax dollars. It will drive up the price of goods and services at airports and businesses.
8. Errors can incarcerate innocent people
No systems are flawless and facial recognition is still in its infancy. There have been cases where people were wrongly accused of crimes based on misidentification.
There can be people arrested that look similar to a criminal and may end up being found guilty of a crime they didn’t commit. Because there is a risk of wrongful arrests and convictions, this technology should be used with caution and implemented as an additional source of the police investigation.
There is no stopping innovation, and facial recognition is here to stay. It will be incorporated into more of our everyday experience, and generally, it is good for safety and security. It’s important for there to be a tight watch on how it is rolled out across the globe because while we want to protect people, we can’t invade individual privacy. Finding the right balance to gain wide acceptance is the task of the innovators and implementers.