The Future of Facial Recognition Technology – Boon or Bane?

March 20, 2020 By
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  • Considered as a subject of science fiction or futuristic fantasy, facial recognition has disrupted biometrics. Now defining the millennium, is one of the most advanced implementations of image analysis software. The initial implementation is in the security and surveillance industry, facial recognition technology has now found its way into the real world. From unlocking smartphones to being used for airport check-ins, curiosity is growing. However, along with its applications, come certain downsides. Accessing facial databases of citizens has raised concerns about data protection law and potential misuse arising from impersonation, forgery and identity theft.

    Let’s delve into the significance of facial recognition software and the impact it will have when it’s deployed in the future:

    Facial recognition system and its mechanism

    Facial recognition is an advanced form of biometric system significant for authentication and examination of individuals by correlating and matching the facial features with an image from the stored facial database.

    Using advanced technologies like facial recognition software and Artificial Intelligence, it maps the facial features first followed by the recognition step where the recognition software distinguishes the face from the background. Post that, it reads the facial features and identifies them as nodal points. Going through a series of steps, it finally reaches the last step of facial recognition and sorting the identity from the database.

    Facial recognition from other biometrics is more accurate and owing to its benefits, it’s gaining traction in multiple sectors. According to a facial recognition market report by component, facial recognition market size is expected to reach USD 7.0 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 16.6% from 2019 to 2024.

    facial Recog.

    Below are the fields where face recognition has already been deployed to bring about a revolution:

    Fields where facial recognition has penetrated so far:

    1. Security

    Hackers beware! This impeccable technology is providing state of the art security to devices including smartphones and other consumer electronics. This is just the initial stage where instead of using passcodes, you can just unlock your devices by looking at them. In the future, by integrating AI and IoT, facial recognition can reach beyond this where people can unlock their houses, cars and other secure locations with just one look! Flagship giants like Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi amongst others are successfully implementing it. What’s more? Jaguar is working on a parallel technology known as walking Gait ID which uses body features to unlock your car! All this can make security systems more secure and authentic.

    2. Crime investigation

    Conventional methods to track criminals can delay investigation procedures, further leading to setbacks in finding justice. To overcome this impediment, facial recognition adds more advantages to criminal investigations by recognizing the law-breakers.

    It aims at modernizing the police force, improving outcomes in the area of criminal identification, and verification by facilitating easy recording, analysis, retrieval and sharing of information between different organizations.

    AI face recognition facilitates cooperation between jurisdictions and precincts to ensure fugitives evading the law are nabbed before giving officers the slip.

    3. Workplace attendance

    Facial recognition facilitates secured and licensed access to workplace facilities by authenticating facial features with employee databases. Not only that, but it also restricts unauthorized entry when the features do not align with the licensed person’s details. Also, to increase the authenticity of an employee’s attendance, this technology can be deployed. This database can be linked to smart software where managers can look over employee’s timesheets and their schedules on a regular basis to gauge their performance and streamline project efficiency.

    4. Aviation

    Tired of queuing up at kiosks and check-in counters at the airport? Don’t worry! Technology has found a way to make this convenient for you.

    Varied applications of facial recognition include simplified check-ins at airports. When facial recognition is integrated with a citizen’s identity, the software can extract information from real-time databases and automatically authorize quality check-in. In fact, this has been implemented at various Indian and Chinese airports. The future of check-ins seems effortless without any hustle.

    5. Construction

    Various spots at a construction site are prone to fatalities and only permit access to senior personnel. If breached by someone, it can lead to severe consequences. To keep this in check and increase the security at such sites, FRS is being deployed by certain construction giants. It only allows entry to the authorized personnel maintaining the safety of construction workers.

    It’s true when they say “technology never solves a problem without creating ten more”. The same goes for FRS. the deployment will definitely lead to an easier and smart future. However, there are certain downsides to it. Let’s have a look at those:

    The growing concern:

    1. The potential downside is privacy and data breaches. With an absence of concrete policies and laws regarding privacy and misuse of information. There is a high chance of abuse of information given the rise in cybercrimes every day.

    2. With such an advanced system, it’s imperative to ensure accurate results. However, deployment of the same can sometimes match with the wrong individual. If this happens, it can lead to access to unauthorized employees or workers to the workplace.

    3. It is still inefficient than fingerprint biosensors, hence it is less reliable. Being in the initial stages, there are certain bugs that need to be fixed to enhance authentication and genuineness of the software.

    The takeaway

    Undoubtedly, facial recognition has changed the entire perception of security and surveillance. It can also detect if the face being scanned belongs to a deceased person by matching it against birth and death records. Hence lawbreakers cannot misuse the corpse’s face.

    However, other privacy concerns can’t be overlooked. Only if facial recognition is made elective can people opt-in and out of it, safeguarding their privacy.Biometrics contains all the sensitive information which once breached can lead to malware attacks, cybercrimes and what not! Hence, it’s for us to decide if FRS is a future fantasy or can turn into a nightmare!

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    Anuradha Mansinghka

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