Face recognition is a way of face recognition by technology. Facial recognition system uses biometric technology to map facial features from photos or videos. It compares information with a database of known faces to find matches. Facial recognition can help you verify your identity, but it can also cause privacy issues.
The face recognition market is expected to grow from $4 billion in 2017 to $7.7 billion in 2022. This is because face recognition has a variety of commercial applications. It can be used for everything from monitoring to marketing.
Your facial expression is data. If privacy is important to you, you may want to control how your personal information (that is, data) is used.
How face recognition works
You may be good at recognizing faces. You may find it easy to identify faces of family, friends or acquaintances. You are familiar with their facial features, their eyes, nose, mouth, and how they fit together.
This is how the face recognition system works, but the algorithm scale is very large. Where you see the face, the recognition technology can see the data, store and access the data. For example, according to a Georgetown University study, half of all adults in the United States have images stored in one or more face recognition databases that law enforcement agencies can search.
So how does face recognition work? The techniques vary, but the following are the basic steps:
Step 1. Capture your face photo from a photo or video. Your face may appear alone or in a crowd. Your image may show you looking straight ahead or almost sideways.
Step 2. The face recognition software reads your face geometry. Key factors include the distance between the eyes and the distance between the forehead and chin. The software can recognize facial signs (a system can recognize 68 of them), which is the key to recognize your face. The result: your facial features.
Step 3. Compare your face signature (a mathematical formula) with a database of known faces. Imagine: at least 117 million Americans have their own facial images in one or more police databases. According to a report, the FBI has obtained 412 million facial images for search.
Step 4. Make sure that your facial features may match the images in the facial recognition system database.
Usually, that’s how face recognition works, but who uses it?
Who uses facial recognition?
Many people and organizations use face recognition in many different places. Here is a sample:
The U.S. government is at the airport. Face recognition system can monitor people’s access to the airport. The U.S. Department of homeland security uses this technology to identify people whose visas have expired or who may be subject to criminal investigation. In August 2018, customs officials at Dulles International Airport in Washington first arrested an impostor trying to enter the country using facial recognition technology.
Mobile phone manufacturer’s products. Apple first used facial recognition to unlock its iPhone X. Using your face ID for authentication can ensure your identity when accessing your phone. Apple says the chance of random face unlocking is about one in a million.
University classroom. Face recognition software can be used to call names. If you decide to skip class, your professor will know. Don’t want your smart roommate to take the exam for you.
Social media companies on the site. When you upload photos to the platform, Facebook uses an algorithm to recognize faces. Social media companies ask if you want to tag people in your photos. If you choose yes, it will create a link to its profile. Facebook can recognize faces with 98% accuracy.
Access and restricted areas for commercial activities. Some companies have used safety badges for face recognition systems.
A place of worship for religious groups. Churches use facial recognition to scan their congregation to see who is present. This is a good way to track regular and irregular people, and it helps to customize donation requests.
Retail stores. Retailers can combine surveillance cameras and face recognition to scan shoppers’ faces. One of the goals: to identify suspicious people and potential pickpockets.
The airline’s gate. You may be used to having staff scan your boarding pass at the gate for boarding. Now the airline is scanning your face.
Advertising marketers and advertisers. Marketers often consider factors such as gender, age, and race when targeting groups of products or ideas. Even in events such as concerts, facial recognition can be used to define these audiences.
Privacy is any right you have to control your personal information and how it is used, which may include your facial features.
So, what’s the problem? Here are some:
Safety. Your face data can usually be collected and stored without your permission. Hackers may access and steal this data.
Transmission rate. Face recognition technology is becoming more and more popular. This means that your facial expressions may appear in many places. You may not know who can access it.
Ownership. When you sign up for a social media network, you may have given up ownership. Maybe someone is tracking your photos online and selling the data.
Safety. Face recognition can lead to online harassment and tracking. For example, someone takes a picture of you in a subway or other public place, and then uses facial recognition software to accurately identify you.
Wrong identity. For example, law enforcement uses facial recognition to try to identify people who rob a small store. The face recognition system may not be 100% accurate. What if the police think the suspect is you?
Fundamental freedoms. Government agencies and others can track you. The work you do and where you go may no longer be personal. It may not be possible to remain anonymous.
How to protect yourself from face recognition
Concerns about face recognition may spur innovation.
Two universities have developed anti face recognition glasses that make wearers unrecognizable.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may have made these glasses as a way to help protect themselves.
Besides, you may not have much choice. Still, there are some things you can do.
You can start with social networks. Here are a few examples:
Facebook allows you to opt out of its face recognition system.
Unless you choose to join, Google + will not enable face recognition. The system also allows you to turn facial recognition on and off.
In general, it’s wise to be careful what you share on social networks. Posting too much personal information, including photos, can lead to identity theft. If you share your dog’s name or your high school mascot. These details may give the identity thief a clue about the security of your bank or credit card account.
Nevertheless, face recognition is a challenge to your privacy. After all, there are few rules governing it.
Editor in charge: CT