Practice Op-Ed- doglover441

Cierra Vasquez

10/23/19

Freedom and Facial Recognition

In our society, we throw around the word liberty constantly to remind others of rights as American citizens. But what is liberty; and what consequences come with living in the “Land of the Free”? A synonym for liberty is freedom, a word that is commonly associated with America. Unfortunately, after many dangerous situations occurring, there needs to be a change in our country.  With social and political issues rising such as immigration, terrorism, school shootings and many more, we as a society should be willing to give up a partial amount of freedom we have been given in exchange for safety. The idea of facial recognition in law enforcements hands with the intentions of protection is a small price to pay in order to deter these harmful acts in our society. 

After the incident of 9/11, citizens and the government were looking for ways to prevent a horrific action against the U.S to occur again. The United States Congress passed the Patriot Act, making it easier for law enforcement to detect and prevent terrorism. Along with this Act, many changes such as security procedures had to be exaggerated, taking freedom away from members of society in public environments such as airports, concerts, museums, and many more. With facial recognition, officers can see undocumented bystanders that can be possible terrorists, or just background on a person who seems suspicious. This is another added layer of security, but less confrontational.  If police suspect a possible threat based off the recognition, they will be more aware of their actions and deter anything from happening. This may take freedom to anonymity awayfrom law abiding citizens, but wouldn’t we rather that than a possible terrorist attack occurring and killing dozens of loved ones? Terrorists can be black, white, Indian, any race; which makes detecting a possible terrorist the most difficult task. 

The recidivism rate in the United States is about 77% of all prisoners released from state prison within 5 years. With this, we can assume that it is reasonable to be cautious around a person with a criminal record. While the repetition for crime should be blamed on other factors, it does not excuse the threat to our society. Whether we want to admit it or not, we do not want our loved ones around these offenders when they do decide to become a danger. Facial recognition would be able to spot out citizens with criminal records or someone who is wanted for a crime such as murder. Wouldn’t we want to know if the person we are sitting next to is wanted for a gruesome crime such as murder? Wouldn’t we want protection if the offender decides to bring danger but the police are too late in arriving to the scene? These are all possible risks we live with every day that can be decreased if police can detect suspicion right away. 

As technology advances, all our resources advance with it, one of them being law enforcements. There have been many unsolved cases in history; from major crimes like homicide to minor ones such as robbery. Surveillance and other tools let law enforcement see what crime is occurring, but facial recognition lets investigators see who is doing it, or all possible suspects. This has never been possible before, giving an advantage. This not only saves time but saves money on months of investigation and stress on finding the culprit. 

We want safety back in our country. We want to be able to send our kids off to school without an unrecognized man wandering the halls. We want to be able to go to the mall without a person wanted for murder holding a gun in their pocket. We want to be able to save our family owned businesses from getting robbed. In order to achieve, we have to sacrifice. Giving up our names and faces to people only trying to stop these treacherous acts occurring in our environment is a given. We as a society have to stop letting the if’s and risks slide, and finally take technology advancement to our advantage. Facial recognition is our fast way to deter criminals, terrorists, and any harms to our society. 

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