As technology advances, there have been many debates over the pros and cons of using face recognition technology. Opponents stress lack of privacy while supporters boast about their benefits. But what exactly is face recognition? Face recognition is a method of identifying or verifying the identity of a person by analyzing their facial features. This technology can be used in photos, video footage, or in real-time.
How It Works
- Face detection: software detects and locates human faces in images and videos
- Face reading: the facial recognition software reads the face to develop a facial signature. Some things that the software looks at includes: distance between the eyes, distance between forehead and chin, etc.
- Face match: the facial signature is compared to a database of faces to determine a match
Why Use Face Recognition?
Some people are wary about using this technology, especially when it comes to privacy concerns, but many industries already use it for a variety of purposes. Even Apple uses this so consumers can unlock their iPhones.
One of the most common uses for this technology is to verify identities. Some airports around the United States are testing out a system of face recognition to verify travel documents. In the process, a camera will take a photo of you and match it to passport photos or other documents from the Department of Homeland Security’s database. This method is supposed to verify identities more accurately and speed up the process. In just its trial period, this system has caught 7 people who were trying to enter the country illegally, 2 of them using another person’s genuine travel papers.
Face recognition is increasingly being used in law enforcement as a supplement in solving crimes. 1 in 4 U.S. state or local police departments have access to face recognition technology and almost half of all American adults are already in the database through their drivers’ license photo. Police departments use this technology to help identify criminals, like shoplifters or credit-card fraudsters. Stores can upload mugshots into their databases and matches can be determined in real-time or recorded footage can be sent in to the authorities for identifying. But face recognition can be used for more than just criminals. It has also been helpful in identifying and tracking missing people. It can even be used to assist in identifying dead bodies.
Marketing & Retail
This technology is already used in some stores as a security measure, but the newest trend is using it for smart marketing. Marketers can use face recognition software to identify the gender and age of each individual consumer. This allows stores and retailers to customize their ads based on these attributes, creating targeted ads effortlessly. It can also be used to create more relevant and personalized rewards for repeat customers. Creating customer loyalty is important for retailers and face recognition can help identify repeat customers for better service.
Despite people’s growing concerns over privacy and government surveillance, there are many advantages to face recognition. It can be used as an extension for security purposes but also as a way to create a better shopping experience.