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Criminal Face Recognition Technology Raises Controversy

Dec 04, 2016 11:46 AM EST
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New innovations in technology have improved crime scene investigation. Probably one of the most innovative yet would be the use of face recognition technology to identify and determine whether or not a suspect is a criminal. However, experts are not quite keen on the criminal face recognition technology and are questioning its accuracy.

Similar to most kinds of biometric database, face recognition technology is used to scan and record data of not only criminals but normal residents as well. A research from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China has published a system that could allegedly determine whether or not a scanned photo belongs to a criminal.

According to CNN, the FBI was able to launch a similar system of face recognition technology in 2015 which was used to ease their photo searches on a daily basis. The aim of this is not to necessarily determine whether the photo uploaded belonged to a criminal but to just minimize the number of photos with potentially similar characteristics of the scanned face.

A report from Fortune Magazine has explained that face recognition systems usually take in the shape of the face or the nose to match with an existing database. On the other hand, there are newer technologies such as machine learning systems that "teach" devices to recognize objects and faces more generally. This is what social media like Facebook uses to create automatized videos and slides.

The study has raised very controversial issues as experts have claimed that there is a possibility of risking normal people's lives with this technology. Since it is not fully accurate, there might be tendencies of suspecting the wrong person.

Furthermore, private companies can acquire these kinds of technology to create limitations or concentrations to their target market. Age, gender, and race determination apps could potentially create discrimination.

As the power of technology has increased such as in this criminal face recognition system, experts have noted that there must be a more stringent policy with regards to its proper use. This is yet what local governments are yet to find. 

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