The article that I found most appropriate for my father’s biggest fear in technology describes the various concepts of Biometric Face Recognition. As a general overview, Biometric Face Recognition is a technique used in modern tracking technology currently under government control. The United Kingdom, as an example, uses this software with the CCTV cameras in airports, train stations and streets of London. Computers are able to rapidly analyse images produced by these cameras and identify people in view. This process is used to locate criminals and protect citizens, residents and tourists…

The following clip advertising the latest 3VR Intelligent Video Management Solution (IVMS) clearly describes the process and purpose of this technology:

This advertisement describes the benefits and advantages of Biometric Face Recognition in CCTV Cameras.

Included is the ability for the system to locate a person and notify a supervisor within 20 seconds. This would enable these cameras to locate criminals or missing children in even large crowds far more efficiently than with the naked eye of an observer. There are, however, many problems with the system.

In relation to Reliability, these face recognition systems are accurate a decent but not perfect 95% of the time. If all the cameras in a city identify 1 million passers by in a day, this would involve 50,000 misidentified people daily. Since these occurrences typically announce the misidentified person as a criminal suspect the output of the system could produce catastrophe.

Privacy is also a major concern with this technology. Innocent passers by would be identified and ‘tracked’ by these cameras which to many seems intimidating. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) disagrees with such security methods since they infringe on personal privacy rights. Since these rights are constantly being compromised, however, the technology seems to be prevailing.

Another ethical issue in this article is People and Machines. With the collaboration of police forces and mechanical camera systems, crime should be minimized.

Article at Biometric Face Recognition & Biometric Identification Technologies (2005)

Clip from YouTube: 3VR Intelligent Video Management Solution as seen on KBS

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