Facial recognition solutions are on the rise. Although there are many benefits, this has also become a controversial topic amongst federal agencies, private companies, and privacy watchdogs. The main question is how much is enough when it comes to privacies issues? Businesses are continuously trying to strive to be the best in marketing and customer relations. They are willing to go through all odds to get their product out and selling to the general public. Facial recognition can arguably be the next big game changer advantage for companies. Businesses can use facial recognition to give valued frequent costumers extra coupons from the moment they walk in the door. Just from a costumers face they can access their personal information. The government and other agencies use this type of facial recognition as well. The police, FBI, military, and law enforcement, are already taking advantage of this technology for surveillance. Facial recognition overall has some major drawbacks as well as major advantages to it.
Supporters of facial recognition may argue the importance of it solely on the business aspect. They believe that it will lead businesses to gain a strategic advantage, by giving valued costumers reasons to come back again and again because they will be treated special from the moment they walk in the door. Supporters may also argue that facial recognition is extremely effective through the police and FBI agencies. The police can use facial recognition to scan faces to spot wanted suspects and use it to scan license plates to detect when someone is speeding or driving recklessly. The FBI uses facial recognition to store finger prints, text data, palm prints and voice data.
Non supporters of face recognition argue that it is a total invasion of personal privacy. Even executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, warned governments against facial recognition technology by saying “it is too creepy even for the search engine”. Facial recognition could also have a negative effect on businesses if a customer feels violated from this type of facial recognition resulting in potential boycotts of the company. Instead of improving sales, customers could be turned off by the invasion of privacy.
Facial recognition is also debatable in the legal sense. Members of congress are at a constant battle to decipher where certain companies or government agencies should draw the line. What is acceptable use? What is considered invasion of privacy and what is not? Data analysis has been established to draw a clear line between legitimate research and the invasion of personal privacy. Certain acts have been enforced by the government to ensure that a company is not invading personal privacy. Overall not many companies are taking up facial recognition yet because they know that by doing so they could be at risk of encroaching on illegal activities. Most are embracing a wait and see approach.
After looking at both sides I feel that it is important to limit business use of facial recognition, while at the same time still use it for crime investigations etc. Facial recognition is an impressive innovative technology that should be taken advantage of but not for personal or business purposes. At minimum, consumers should have to opt in voluntarily if businesses are going to use facial technology. I can see the importance in using it to detect criminals and help reduce crime. This technology can indeed be a very creepy way to invade our privacy. Even having the government using this doesn’t really sit well with me at the end of the day. The attached you tube video supports my view on facial recognition.
Information Week: “How does Uncle Sam Track You?” By: Kevin Forgarty
Mail Online: “Too creepy even for Google” By: Daily Mail Reporter