Facial recognition technology: A Principled Approach for a Better Future
Facial recognition is a technology capable of identifying the identity and verifying the identity of that person just by using their face. The identity of any person can be verified in real-time and even from photos and a video frame from videos. Facial recognition generally works by comparing the selected face’s facial features and comparing them with the faces in the database. This system is a Biometric Artificial Intelligence-based system that can identify an individual from their facial features.
Facial Recognition Technology will become more ubiquitous in the future. This technology is already in use in some countries for real-time tracking and surveillance. Facial recognition is generally compared with iris recognition systems and fingerprint scanning systems because they are all used regarding security systems. In terms of accuracy, facial recognition falls short compared to iris and fingerprint recognition systems, but it is still used because of its non-invasive and contactless process. Facial recognition is also used in surveillance systems, video databases, human-computer interaction, and AI systems.
Technology is essential for society, and it brings a lot of benefits, but there is also the potential of abusing this technology. Facial recognition technology is not an exception to this; there is a lot of possibilities that this technology can be misused by people in control. Therefore, to prevent any exacerbate societal issues in the future, governments should adopt laws to regulate this technology. The results when tech companies are forced to choose between market success and social ethics won’t be in the best interest of the public. The government needs to initiate some legislation in this technology so that the technological advances are not affected, all the while protecting the public interest. Government authorities can rely on technological approaches that may have some flaws or are biased without giving much thought to the human element and deciding who to conduct surveillance on and even apprehend for some crime.
Government authorities can track activities of political opponents and other activities that are public in ways that would contradict the democratic society norms. Similarly, corporations may make decisions that affect the eligibility for jobs, employment, or transactions without public involvement by using facial recognition. Critical questions of privacy, anonymity, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and life are raised through such activities.
These laws and regulations should also aim to keep the market competition healthy and not let some organizations monopolize this technology and make it easy for newer organizations to invest and develop in this market.
Government laws should require facial recognition service providing tech companies to make their technical limitations and capabilities public in terms that ordinary people can understand about their product.
There should be laws that require that the tech companies which provide facial recognition services commercially to engage in testing of their face recognition systems through independent third party organizations that are involved in the testing of these systems. The systems must be tested for unfair bias and accuracy. Furthermore, these test results must be made public.
Tech Sector Responsibilities
The tech companies are not absolved from their ethics since government intervention is present. For the sake of public interest, the tech sector must follow an open and proper approach for the development and implementation of facial recognition technology. The companies need to take and stand and make unbiased technological developments. The data of their research and development must be made transparent and available to the public for inspection.
Moreover, the new facial recognition systems must be tested and reviewed by capable and qualified people who can make critical decisions. The review of these techniques must not be simply left to computers; the human element is necessary for their unbiased opinion. These laws are required as the privacy of people must not be affected by the facial recognition technology in the name of machine learning.
The tech companies involved with facial recognition technologies must adopt new learning methods and consider listening to external sources and make corrections whenever necessary. The external sources can include a variety of academics, privacy, and human rights groups that are focused on issues involving facial recognition technologies.
There needs to be a principled approach to the development of facial recognition technologies. The elected government should adequately assess and evaluate the technologies in question and reach a proper conclusion as to what changes and laws must be made to the technology to avoid mass scale ramifications. The privacy of the people must be the top priority of the companies and not the commercial success. The government is in place to ensure that the companies are regulated, and people’s democratic freedom is protected.
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