Home > Public Domain Data > Faces to Places: Location tracking and Facial Recognition Technology

Faces to Places: Location tracking and Facial Recognition Technology

We have written many times over the years about insidious and invasive location tracking practices; the apps and devices we use that capture our location information until an outcry forces a rethink about personal rights and institutional ‘transparency’. Just when we start to think it’s all under control, another reason to be concerned emerges. Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) is now widely used in many countries, with live tracking via CCTV infrastructure now common practice. By comparing a database of existing photos with live images of crowds and individuals, possible matches at specific locations are flagged for further investigation.

Source: Skitterphoto (https://www.pexels.com)

Previously mobile devices – phones, tablets, activity trackers – could identify an individual at a particular location. That information could prove the device was at a location but not necessarily that the person owning the device was also present. With facial recognition large organisations and public authorities can now link a face to a place without the need to rely on the device-in-the-middle.

However, once again the widespread adoption of this technology has raced ahead of the legal safeguards governing its use. With frequent claims of the misuse of personal information, such as the recently reported case at London’s Kings Cross station, bias and the potential for misidentification (American Bar Association report) many groups are now calling for a review of FRT. San Francisco became the first US city this year to ban the use of FRT by its government although private companies are exempt from the regulation. The Chinese government recently announced plans to regulate the use of facial recognition technology in schools. Both the European Commission (EC) and the United Nations are also currently investigating how best to restrict the use of such technology. The EC is seeking to introduce additional regulations that will safeguard citizen rights over the use of their facial recognition data. 

Is FRT the ultimate personal location metric for the trackers? 2019 has seen an increase in awareness of the issues surrounding the use of this technology. Will 2020 see the introduction of additional regulation governing that use?

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: