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ExpressVPN - What The Facial Recognition Technology Debate Is About

By | On June 20, 2020

Facial recognition technology is used to identify or authenticate a person's identity by scanning their face. Facial recognition systems use biometrics to map facial features from an image or video and compare it with information in a facial database to find a match. Facial recognition tech is changing the way we do things, whether it's helping the government enhance security at our airports and border crossings or helping businesses improve their marketing efforts.

The use of AI-powered technology is expected to grow as we enter a new decade. Our daily interactions with face detection technology will increase as the technology extends to fields such as digital banking. Recently, we have seen an increased deployment of facial recognition and other biometric technologies in digital healthcare to help the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.


From Europe to Asia, many airports and airlines are implementing the technology for security purposes. In the United States, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) aims to scan the faces of passengers accessing airports. Law enforcement groups are increasingly adopting this technology. Here are some of the ways in which facial recognition tech can be used in a beneficial manner.

  • Retail. Retail stores can use facial recognition technology to analyze shoppers' behavior and improve the purchasing process by placing cameras on their premises. Face detection can be highly beneficial in providing a highly personalized shopping experience for customers.
  • Security. The security stands to benefit the most from the use of facial recognition tech. In law enforcement, the police are already using facial recognition technology to identify and track criminals, find missing children, and accelerate investigations.
  • Healthcare. The healthcare sector is heavily investing in facial recognition technology to help with fraud prevention and improve data security. Face detection has also proved useful in supporting pain management procedures, detecting genetic diseases, and tracking medication use by patients. 


Despite its potential, facial recognition tech is generating a lot of controversy around issues such as privacy, lack of regulation, bias, and reliability. If you have ever posted a picture on your social media, your face is probably in the expanding database of facial data. Here are the primary concerns surrounding facial recognition technology.

  • Privacy. The constitutional freedom of expression and association, as stipulated in the Fourth Amendment, is at risk, thanks to facial recognition technology. The police can use face analysis to single out individuals and track them, even when they are not doing anything suspicious. Your movements in public spaces are not private anymore.
  • Errors. Facial recognition systems can be way off when it comes to identifying individuals sometimes. With the use of this technology quickly becoming commonplace in law enforcement, errors can cause a lot of damage in society. Misidentification can easily implicate people for crimes they did not commit.
  • Unreliable. The ability of a face recognition system to identify someone's face correctly depends on the conditions. Under challenging situations such as the sub-optimal angle of view, low-quality image resolution, and poor lighting, most facial recognition systems will not be able to make the correct identification.

Keep Facial Recognition from Invading Your Privacy

Facial recognition is a highly intrusive technology, and no one is safe from it. Since the tech relies on images on our faces to identify us, the best we can do to protect ourselves is to protect our facial data. Wearing a face mask or anti-facial recognition glasses in public can help. We also need to protect ourselves from facial recognition software on social media sites such as Facebook by turning off the platform's face detection feature.

It's also important to protect our data when surfing the world wide web.  Use a VPN to guarantee your security and privacy when browsing the internet from your computer or mobile device. The government is using facial recognition to undermine our rights. Prominent businesses across different industries are making significant investments in face detection tech. It's up to you as an individual to protect yourself.



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