So, what is facial recognition?
Facial recognition is a biometric technology that uses distinctive features on the face to identify and distinguish an individual. From the first cameras that could recognise faces in the mid-1960s up to now, facial recognition has evolved in many ways — from looking at 3D contours of a face to recognising skin patterns.
The technology is extensively used to offer access to secure environments or devices. CCTV cameras in public places, plugged into powerful computers, can pick out faces and match them against a database, or just pick out certain types of faces. As camera capabilities have improved, facial recognition has become possible in low light, and even from long distances.
Why are some people uneasy with this?
Over the past decade, as urban spaces all over the world have come to be covered extensively by surveillance cameras, avenues have opened up for the misuse or abuse of facial recognition technologies. China, which has possibly the most extensive network of CCTV cameras in the world, has reportedly been using facial recognition to pick out wanted individuals from crowds at airports and railways station.
Police authorities in many countries, including the United States, have been using facial recognition technology to identify crime suspects. The unease around the use of facial recognition stems from concerns over the loss of privacy, and fears that the state may be unwilling or incapable of protecting this fundamental right of citizens. Civil liberties advocacies have warned that the identification of people without their knowledge. massive abuse or misuse.