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Facial Recognition is Becoming More Mainstream

Danielle Nelson, Head Writer

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Formerly used for security and crime identification, “facial recognition” is being utilized by many popular apps today and is becoming a widely known trend. Facial recognition is most commonly known from “Facebook”. When someone posts a photo to Facebook, the application automatically detects the faces of those in it. Then, they make a suggestion to tag the people in the photo.

This is where facial recognition comes in. The application automatically identifies a person’s face according to their features. To identify the subject, this system uses the eyes, nose, cheekbones, jaw, and mouth.

Most users do not question facial recognition’s abilities or even wonder what happens next with the photos, which is something that cannot be pinpointed.

Not all apps use facial recognition for harmless modification of people’s appearance, like snapchat’s popular filters. Nearly a year ago, an app called FindFace was released. The app, written only in Russian allows people to upload a photo of anyone’s face and the app will locate all of the person’s social media accounts.

The app claims to have 70% accuracy.

Several concerns arise from the use of facial recognition. Of course, most of them originate from use outside of popular apps. However, people are wondering if apps will eventually reach the same level of danger if they continue to enhance the software. Popular concerns people have are:

Could my face be used for unauthorized advertising?  This is the largest concern, specifically among the youth. Many people wonder what happens with their identity after being detected by facial recognition.

Will facial recognition replace fingerprint identification in Law Enforcement?  San Diego police have already begun to use facial recognition to identify suspects. The software was first implemented in 2013, and now there are 433 devices used by 991 law enforcement personnel. According to San Diego’s Regional Planning Agency (SANDAG), the software is primarily used when a suspect is not truthful about their identity. People question whether this will be a helpful advance in technology, or whether it will become a safety concern.

Will facial recognition enhance stalking? Although stalkers utilize several high tech methods to stalk their victims, facial recognition could make it easier for them. S    

-How will this affect job hiring? It is hard to predict whether or not facial recognition will affect jobs. With apps like FindFace, employers could easily access the social media sites of potential employees even if they are personal and hidden rather than a public or business page. Even if someone applying to jobs has an account under an alternate name, it will still be found very easily.

Facial recognition is a large advancement in technology that could possibly transform identification methods used by police and employers. Although it may be very convenient for professionals, it is important to remember the potential dangers and to keep them in mind next time you encounter an app that uses facial recognition.

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