Critics say the technology is not very accurate. Facial recognition is considered to be one of the most difficult research topics in the field of biometrics and even artificial intelligence. The difficulty of facial recognition is mainly caused by the characteristics of the face as a biological feature.
Several companies, including Amazon and Clarifai, are working to develop reliable facial recognition technology for government agencies and law enforcement to use to arrest criminals and find missing children.
Amazon's Rekognition recognizes, analyzes, and tracks people in real time. In a matter of seconds, the software can compare the collected information to a database that stores millions of images. Law enforcement agencies have used this technology to help find missing persons and identify suspects of terrorist attacks.
Although this technology may be beneficial, it has recently faced some rebounds. Many people are worried about racial prejudice and protecting citizens' privacy.
Recently, San Francisco became the first city in the United States to ban police and urban agencies from using facial recognition technology. The ban is caused by fear that facial recognition monitoring is unfairly targeted at certain members of society, especially colored people, and outlines them. According to the CPO magazine, when law enforcement agencies adopt this technology, they are usually promoted in high-crime, low-income communities, and those that are disproportionate are those with a high proportion of people of color.
The ban allows the city's supervisory board to monitor all monitoring techniques used by agencies and law enforcement agencies. Departments are now required to audit all existing monitoring technologies, such as automated license plate recognition tools, and prepare an annual report on how to use technology and how to share it. The committee must approve the purchase of all new monitoring technologies. The ban does not include the use of this technology by individuals or businesses.
Some proponents of facial recognition technology say the legislation passed by the city is too hot, and the technology should only be suspended before improvement, rather than being directly banned.
In a conversation with the National Public Radio, Daniel Castro, a vice president of the think tank called Technology and Innovation Foundation, said: “The Supervisory Board is saying that let us completely ban this technology, which seems to be extreme. Because many uses of technology are completely appropriate. & rdquo; He explained. For example, the government and the companies that produce the software want to use it to combat sex trade. Castro said: “The ban is an extreme reaction to a technology that many people are just beginning to understand. ”
In Oakland, San Francisco-like legislation is also being considered. Massachusetts is also considering suspending facial recognition software in the state until the technology is improved.
Concerns about this technology are not without foundation. According to the news site The Verge, in a study published earlier this year by the MIT Media Lab, researchers found that facial analysis software made mistakes in identifying the gender of female or dark-skinned individuals.
According to a survey released earlier this month, the New York City police were found to have edited the suspect's photo and uploaded the celebrity's appearance in an attempt to manipulate facial recognition results. A representative of the New York Police Department, when asked about the allegation, emphasized the investigative value of the technology, but he did not object to any allegations.
In an interview with NBC News, Clare Garvie, senior assistant for the privacy and technology center specializing in facial recognition, said: “If the police enter very subjective, highly edited or just wrong information into their system, then the accuracy of the facial recognition algorithm It doesn't matter. ”“They won't get good information. They won't get valuable clues. The risk of misidentification is high. If they use it without sharing it with a defense attorney, this violates due process. ”
Should more municipal governments ban the use of this technology, or should it be suspended? Is the benefit of this technology greater than the concerns raised?