Practice Op-Ed – Valcom

Facial Recognition Software, or FRS for short, is a biometric system that allows cameras to scan multiple faces as a way of identifying criminals. Originally created and intended for the use of pin pointing criminals, companies and governments have capitalized on different uses. Even though the software is used to unlock our phones, allow us to bypass the airport security check and pay for purchases, it is something that everyone should have a growing fear of. The software being used is an invasive privacy violation that is going against multiple human rights and presents an unfair bias on citizens in multiple countries.

The biggest country currently using and advancing in FRS is China. One thing China has created is a FRS Analytical Camera that is allowing China to predict who will commit a crime next. The software is able to track a citizen who will buy items such as a hammer and if they then go buy a knife or rope, they will be flagged as suspicious person and police will then be notified. The company who is helping China create this technology says that the technology is dependent on other AI techniques such as Behavioral Analysis but will remember faces of past convicted or flag citizens and will notify police when they are spotted in key locations. The country currently has 176 million security cameras and that number is only expected to grow.

Another large problem that has been created by the use of facial recognition is the unfair bias against humans from a FRS that can point out who is gay and heterosexual by the look of their face. Stanford University claims “Gay faces tended to be gender atypical,” the researchers said. “Gay men had narrower jaws and longer noses, while lesbians had larger jaws.” These findings could serve as a weapon against the LGBTQ+ community and cause these people to be outed when searching for a job or when they are at a public event. Creating a FRS that can out someone from a group which could be wrong would cause an unfair bias and can even make people feel depressed or suicidal, if they found out, because they are being judged on who they are and the beauty of them.

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