The use of Facial Recognition is bringing us one step closer to being a surveillance state. Facial recognition systems are built on computer programs that analyze images of human faces for the purpose of identifying them. Unfortunately, it is possible for the system to be used for general surveillance in combination with public video cameras. It can be used in a passive way that doesn’t require the knowledge, consent or participation of the subject. The most concerning thought is that this technology can be used for general, suspicion less surveillance system. When you get a license, your picture is taken and that picture is used as a legal form of identification. State motor vehicle agencies possess high quality photographs of most citizens that are already in facial recognition programs. They can be easily combined with public surveillance or other cameras in the construction of a comprehensive system of identification and tracking. It would be a complete betrayal by the state to its people.
Sadly, that is exactly what China has done. A city in China has implemented this practice on its residents. Surveillance cameras are in every nook and cranny. The city’s streets, doorways, shops and mosques are all covered with cameras to monitor the residents. China has trapped the residents in a place where every move can be surveilled and controlled. And in turn, Chinese companies are making a fortune off of the misery of the targets of the surveillance technology. This part of China has already turned into a surveillance state, but this could be the United States sooner than we think.
China isn’t the only place with fancy technology that they can use on their residents. Technologists already have tools that allow police to recognize people in real time. At least 9 products have built in facial recognition technology on the body-worn camera market. This technology would use algorithms to assess an individual. Cops with body cams and this technology can scan people as they walk by and identify them. They would be able to know where they’ve been and whether they are wanted individuals. This puts everyone, including law-abiding citizens, under perpetual surveillance and suspicion. Facial Recognition technology is used for what seems to be, reasonable and helpful situations, but it can turn on us in the blink of an eye. The technology can be used for sinister things, and that should scare everyone.