Op-ed – imagination

Welcome to the world of automatic facial recognition. One day, we won’t have to show our IDs because we will be identified automatically. A surveillance camera will capture our facials and it will automatically be matched with our names and other information. Those who have ability to access databases of identified photos will have the competence to identify us. There are a few potential benefits to using facial recognition software to prevent and solve crimes, but there are many concerns about the privacy, safety and legislation concerning the use of this technology.

This new technology has been demonstrated in multiple studies to be inaccurate at identifying people, especially those of color. This can lead to wrongful convictions and can be damaging to the society in that law enforcement can easily abuse this technology for things like constant surveillance of society. Government use of this technology should be limited or outlawed because its concerns include risks in privacy, balance between the state and citizens and definitely racial discrepancies as a result.

The facial recognition software has never been perfect and won’t ever be. For example, say if police are searching for a man who committed a crime and to make it easier to find him, they put a photograph into a surveillance network for facial recognition. A match is found and they go and arrest this man, but turns out they got the wrong guy and just looked a lot like the criminal. The facial recognition software can easily mistaken anybody for someone else.

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