Facial recognition technology (FRT) is by far, one of the most controversial tools. Introduced in the late 1960s, this technology has made it easier for users to access their data by eliminating the need for keys, passcodes, and even fingerprint sensors. This technology could be the future of banking, security, and policing. But issues of privacy and manipulation are unavoidable. Here are some fascinating facts about this controversial technology.
With the release of Apple’s iPhone X, the tech-giant made it clear that its facial recognition technology cannot be fooled. However, after a few weeks of this launch, a Vietnamese security firm stated that it has manipulated iPhone X’s FRT. To these claims, Apple said that it’s not possible. No one replicated the experiment, but Wired magazine hired Hollywood makeup artists to mimic the procedure, and they failed. Despite this, tech experts believe that scars, spectacles, hats can easily confuse this technology.
2. Physiological Health
Research conducted by Australia’s Macquarie University reveal facts that face recognition technology can be harnessed to detect physiological health. Headed by Dr. Ian Stephen, the team worked on finding the BMI index, blood pressure and fat level by observing the face. Dr Ian said that it’s possible to assess the health of an individual by FRT, provided the face has valid and perceptible signs.
3. The Hurry
The US Department of Homeland Security hosted a convention in November 2017, where they set up private firms against each other to build FRTs. This is to identify people traveling over 40 kilometers per hour near US border crossings. They hurried so much for the system to develop, that they were willing to accept even 70 percent error rate. It’s fascinating to see so much of gold rush for the facial recognition technology.
4. Facebook and FRT
A lawsuit was filed against Facebook in Illinois where the company was accused of collecting user’s biometric data without letting them know. It was being said that Facebook uses customer’s data to sell targeted ads. However, Facebook is moving far beyond FRT by identifying people from even the blurry photos by observing posture, hairdo, clothing, etc. The company stated that its facial recognition algorithm performed with 83 percent accuracy.
5. Stalking Made Easy
A Russian company launched an app in March 2016, which can help people find a stranger in a crowd with almost 70 percent accuracy. FindFace works by comparing photos with 200 million profile pictures on the Russian social media. The app provides the closest match with ten possible alternatives. Moscow took this opportunity and linked its 5,000 CCTV cameras with FindFace so that the live feed can be checked with the database of wanted criminals.
6. China’s Will To Dominate
One of the fascinating facts is knowing that China is in the middle of constructing world’s largest surveillance network. They have 140 million cameras installed, and are planning to install 400 million more over the next three years. China wants to dominate the facial recognition technology domain. And for the most part, they have done it already. For example, you can withdraw money from the ATM using FRT. You can also choose to pay your dining bill or even visit attractions. They have already started the expansion of this technology.
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