Facial recognition and biometric technology: data gathering

“Live facial recognition in public spaces is a mass surveillance method and a huge expansion of the surveillance state. It inverts the vital democratic principle of suspicion preceding surveillance, treating populations like suspects” Bigbrother Watch UK

About: Facial recognition is a biometric identification tool used to identify a subject through an image or video of the target person’s face. This identification is often used to access an application, system, or service.

FRT is an expanding technology, used for example by Facebook to tag you in photos from your parents’ wedding anniversary, integrated as a security key into many smartphones and tablets and into an increasing number of home appliances. It is used to recognize your face at airports, and verify your transactions by some websites and shops.

How does it work? When used by police forces, Facial recognition systems capture an incoming image or footage. This footage is compared with police databases, which are able to verify that the biometric data of the person matches with the database footage.

Why is this wrong? Facial recognition technology allows companies and states to take the surveillance of populations to an unprecedented level, and to use that information to implement even more oppressive systems of social control. FRT technology can be used to target people who are involved in social movements, and to enforce racial segregation of populations. It’s an indiscriminate surveillance tool as it can be used to monitor everyone all the time and in the vast majority of countries where this technology is used, it operates without a clear legal or regulatory framework. This legal vacuum opens the door to abuse.

More info at:

Forbes | The Major Concerns Around Facial Recognition Technology

Electronic identification  | Face Recognition: how it works and its safety

The documentary, Coded Bias (2020),