Η facial recognition is one one of the most popular biometric technologies - along with iris scanning and fingerprinting - which a person can identify through their digital imaging. The face recognition systems are becoming more and more popular at this time, as they provide an accurate method for him detection of a person and ensuring security. As global security concerns grow due to geopolitical tensions and terrorist threats, The face recognition market is expected to grow significantly.
Η technology face recognition first used in 1964, by the American mathematician and computer scientist Woody Bledsoe. In particular, Bledsoe, using a computer program and a database of photos, managed to identify the photo of a suspect with the ones he already had in his file. In the following years, this technology developed rapidly, and with the aim of fighting crime and ensuring public order, it received enormous funding from the US government.
Over the years and with the increasingly easy access to data (eg photographs) from various sources, the consent of the subjects whose biometric data were being processed became less and less of a concern to researchers. This wide access to data, combined with the development of technology, have helped to reduce costs and the faster development of these programs, making it now imperative to have specialized legislation.
This kind of technology is evolving rapidly, seeking not only to be a modern means of identifying an individual with the use of artificial intelligence, but also an interpretation of his emotional state (emotion recognition technology).
Face recognition software is used in various processes such as recruitment, the fight against crime by police authorities, and even in political communication, where companies elicit our political preferences and beliefs through the power of algorithms.
Face recognition systems create however many questions on whether their use is lawful, but also on how they may affect fundamental human rights, and in particular the rights to freedom of expression, the protection of personal data, privacy, and civil liberties.
Face recognition technology includes the concepts of identification and authentication. In particular, the identification answers the question "Who you are;". That is, it is the ability of the system to recognize the person using a system or application. On the other hand, the authentication replies to "Are you really the one claiming?". In other words, with authentication, face recognition technology is called upon to confirm that the user of a system is really the one who recognizes the system.
In order to ensure the proper operation of this technology, some difficulties have to be overcome.
For example, a person is made up of a number of characteristics. In addition to the most obvious (eyes, nose, mouth), a person is represented by the distances, shape, angles and depth of features. In order to be effective, technology needs to be able to identify all of the above, "perceiving" the uniqueness / uniqueness of each person.
Furthermore, the system should be able to recognize a person regardless of changes in the external environment. Such changes may be the lighting or the different point of view from which the identified person "looks".
Face recognition technology is undoubtedly another great technological achievement of the modern age. But what happens when it ceases to be used only beneficially to society as a whole, raising the issue of personal data?
Experts dealing with this technology lately, are tormented by intense concerns about the various ways in which it can be utilized. Their concerns revolve mainly around the following questions: where the data resulting from the identification of the person will be stored, who will manage them and for what purposes.
Advantages of face recognition
Face recognition implies many benefits for society, such as increasing security and protection, preventing crime and reducing human interaction. It can even help support medical efforts in some cases. Its advantages include the following:
- Helps to find missing persons: Law enforcement services use face recognition to find missing persons. When paired with aging software that shows what a young person will look like several years later, face recognition can even find someone who has been ignored for years.
- Protects businesses from theft: Business owners use face recognition software and security cameras to detect known or suspected thieves as they enter their stores. This precautionary measure can help prevent shoplifting. Because people are less likely to commit crimes when they know they are being monitored, technology also serves as a deterrent.
- Strengthens security measures: Face recognition also helps improve security. It has been a regular part of airport security checks for many years, helping to identify criminals and potential threats to airlines and passengers. Banks and other institutions also use face recognition to prevent fraud, as technology can identify people who have previously been charged with crimes and notify the institution.
- Reduces the number of contact points: Face recognition requires fewer human resources than other types of security measures, such as fingerprints. It also does not require physical contact or direct human interaction. Instead, he uses AI to make it an automatic and seamless process. It also restricts contact points when unlocking ports and smartphones, receiving cash from an ATM, or performing any other task that generally requires a PIN, password, or key.
- Makes shopping more efficient: The ease of face recognition extends beyond security. Instead of shopping at cash or credit card stores, face recognition technology can identify your face and charge for the products you buy into your account.
- Improves photo organization: Face recognition can also add tags to photos in the cloud storage through Apple or Google. This makes it easy to organize, find and share your photos. It also plays a role in suggesting tags on Facebook.
- Improves medical care: An amazing use of facial recognition technology is the detection of genetic disorders. By examining subtle facial features, facial recognition software can, in some cases, determine how specific genetic mutations caused a particular syndrome. Technology can be faster and less expensive than traditional genetic testing.
Disadvantages of face recognition
As with any technology, there are potential drawbacks to using face recognition, such as threats to privacy, violations of rights and personal freedoms, potential data theft, and other crimes. There is also the risk of errors due to defects in technology. Other disadvantages are:
- Threatens individual and social secrecy: The threat to privacy is a major drawback of face recognition technology. People do not like to have their faces recorded and stored in a database for unknown future use. Confidentiality is such a big issue that some cities, such as San Francisco, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts, have banned the use of real-time face recognition surveillance by law enforcement. In these cases, police may use video recordings from personal devices and security videos, but may not use live face recognition software.
- It is imposed on personal freedom: Recording and scanning by facial recognition technology can make people feel constantly monitored and judged for their behavior. In addition, police can use face recognition to scan those on a database, as if they were always suspects for no apparent reason.
- It violates personal freedomsCountries with limited personal freedoms, such as China, the United Arab Emirates, North Korea, Iran and Iraq, often use face recognition to spy on citizens and arrest those considered rioters.
- Creates data vulnerabilities: There is also concern about storing face recognition data, as these databases may be compromised. Hackers have hacked into databases containing facial scans collected and used by banks, police and defense companies in the past.
- Provides opportunities for fraud and other crimes: Malicious agents can use face recognition technology to commit crimes against innocent people. They may collect personal information of individuals, including images and videos collected by facial scans and stored in databases, to commit identity fraud. With this information, a thief could open bank accounts in the victim's name, create a criminal record using the victim's identity, and more.
Beyond fraud, Malicious agents can harass or steal victims using face recognition technology. For example, they could search in reverse for a photo taken in a public place to gather information about their victims and determine who they are and where they live. In addition, because technological crime moves faster than the law, people can become victims before the activity is considered a crime.
- The technology is imperfect: Face recognition is not perfect. For example, it is less effective at locating women and people of color than white men. Technology depends on algorithms for face mapping. These algorithms are more powerful for white men than other groups, because databases contain more data for white men than for women and people of color. This creates unintentional bias in the algorithms.
- Innocent people could be charged: There are inherent risks of false positive results. Face recognition software could misidentify someone as a criminal, resulting in their arrest. At the same time, it increases the chances of specific groups of people being blamed for racial or other characteristics.
- Technology can be "tricked": Among the factors that can affect the ability of technology to recognize people's faces are camera angles, lighting levels and the quality of an image or video. People who disguise or slightly change their appearance can also "trick" facial recognition technology.
Technology continues to evolve
As facial recognition technology improves, the challenges it poses are likely to diminish. At present, however, the shortcomings of technology and the dependence of people on it, suggest that the Face recognition has room for growth and improvement.