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What Is Facial Recognition Technology and How Does It Work?

Technologies involving scanning an eye, face or a thumbprint have been portrayed in movies for years. These techniques are becoming commonplace as time goes by. Smart phones now enable fingerprints as security codes, and even Facebook uses a type of facial recognition – facial features are tracked to produce “tag suggestions”. As we advance and develop new, seemingly more convenient and secure ways of functioning, we begin to question whether this type of technology is too intrusive and what possible threats may arise. Namely facial recognition finds proponents for the technology, but not without opposition from others.

Some retail stores are already implementing facial recognition technology to pinpoint known shoplifters. Their image is put into a database and alerts are sent when they enter the store. Supporters explain that this is less intrusive than security cameras in the sense that facial recognition targets known threats versus cameras, which monitor everyone. This can also be more efficient in tracking people in high traffic areas.

To the same affect, this technology is also used to identify the store’s “big spenders”. This allows the store to know when a special customer is in their presence so that better, special treatment will be delivered. While this may help a store’s revenue, how ethical is it? Could this simply be a newer form of discrimination?

It’s obvious that disadvantages of facial recognition technology still exist. While some find security cameras menacing, tracking individuals with biometric data can be just as invasive. Our biometric data is unique to us, and, in the wrong hands, can potentially put an individual’s identity at risk.

Also, facial recognition is tailored to flagged people, or those known to pose a threat. However, only targeting known threats can let others slip under the radar. All too often surprise attacks are planned and implemented. Evaluation of security camera footage usually produces evidence of suspicious behaviors prior to the incident.

The use of facial recognition technology in different areas can potentially spread and become useful, but the kinks need to be ironed out before that. In the meantime, visit for your security and surveillance needs. Feel free to give us a call at 1-888-203-6294 with any questions.

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