18 Jan

Is facial recognition technology a problem?

 

Facial recognition technology has begun to be used in more and more areas. Amazon and Microsoft are just two of the Giants that have invested billions in these systems. There are large sums allocated for research and development. It is believed to be a technology that will help many sectors.

But, like any technology, it can not be framed by good or bad. Depends on what purpose it’s used for. As a comparison: China is using facial recognition to survey its citizens and strengthen its censorship mechanisms. The United States uses it in the military or to identify criminals.

Bottom line: it matters how this technology is used. But, nevertheless, there are some signs of concern. And American politicians would prepare for an inquiry into this.

U.S. officials have begun to have concerns about the accuracy of the information provided by facial recognition. There are some problems, especially when it comes to recognizing female and black people.

A wake-up call is being drawn by several civic associations and groups that defend human rights.

“It’s something that looks very much like what we saw in the Black Mirror,” says one US Congressman, referring to the famous Netflix show, which shows the less bright side of technology. That’s why members of the American Congress began drafting a special law for this type of systems.

There are also many tech experts questioning how facial recognition data is used by governments and private companies. Some believe these systems should, for now, be banned. During this period, a set of regulations would be prepared and only then could things get back to normal.

Phone makers have long begun introducing facial recognition – Face ID-to, they say, give users maximum security. It’s Apple’s case, for example. If you own an iPhone model, you can unlock your phone just by looking at the camera.

But among the companies that have announced they are working on developing the technology are Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. Companies collect data precisely to create their own base. Facebook and Instagram photos can be scanned for this purpose.

But there are also errors. And then the effects can be of the unwanted ones. If, for example, facial recognition is used as evidence in a criminal trial and the system fails, judges could convict someone who is innocent. There are also concerns that the technology could be used as an oppressive tool by the authorities, as is already happening in China.

That’s why U.S. officials are calling for regulation of this new technology. Once a legislative base is set up, the chances of these systems being used for misuse and to the detriment of citizens/users decrease considerably, some members of the US Congress believe.

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