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Facial Recognition Growing Stronger, For Better or Worse

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More and more databases are being compiled of people’s faces without their knowledge.

These databases are being used to help recognize people all around the world. The faces are being taken from social media websites, dating services, and cameras that were placed in restaurants.

A race to be the best facial recognition system has caused this sudden boost in collecting people’s faces. What is unsettling for people is the knowledge that their face could be collected somewhere without them ever knowing it. Currently, names are not attached to the faces, but people’s faces can certainly be distinguished if seen.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have used facial recognition to scan motorists’ photos to identify undocumented immigrants. The FBI also uses facial recognition to compare people’s driver’s licenses with the faces of suspected criminals.

Many companies have removed face sets from the internet because of their concern over privacy. But, it seems feasible to believe that they have already been widely distributed. Facial recognition lists were made after a cafe collected 10,000 images in three days with the use of their cafe camera. Duke University also started a database with the use of eight on-campus cameras. They were able to collect 2,700 people with their cameras.

People are trying to figure out what they can do to protect their privacy. Ultimately, facial recognition can be very helpful to our safety in the future, but we need to be sure that it is being used properly. People can join the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, who are currently working on creating a tool that will allow you to check if your image is being shared and used openly in databases.