Major advancements are being made in the field of Facial Recognition technology but it is still in the early stages of development in tech. Right now, it is possible to identify persons from a series of images provided if we have a small database from which the algorithm has to search from. But, if the database goes extensive with images of many people. The time to pinpoint the person can exceed by a huge margin.
And in practical scenarios, we need results in a matter of seconds or so. So it is not convenient to deploy this tech right now Still, this technology presents a promising future in the area of crime-fighting and tracking of fugitives.
keeping in view the rapid advancement in technology. Or, the advent of new algorithms in this particular domain. There are significant use cases of Facial Recognition particular in criminal combat which we can see below:
What Is Facial Recognition Technology?
Ever had one of those moments where you wake up after a dream and are left rather confused by the face you just saw in the dream? You can’t put a name to it but you remember the facial features to the exact particulars. You don’t know who that person was, which only makes you that much eager to decipher the great mystery behind this person.
Don’t you wish you had a tool to help you put a name to this face?
Well, facial recognition technology offers you just that particular tool – scan a face and get to know all that you’d ever need to know.
Facial Recognition Applications
Moving away from dreamland and into the use of FRT in the real world. We’ve seen a stark increase in the use of biometric data, which includes a full-fledged database of facial images. The technology for this has been available for quite some time now. But, the use has increased greatly owing to its integration with a variety of online databases. Also, the usage of mobile/fixed camera systems – both of which have increased its reach and impact.
While the technology comes with its own set of concerns, this is definitely a tool that holds quite the potential. Especially, in an arena where putting a name to a face is integral to getting the job done.
FRT In Law Enforcement
Imagine you’re at a public event that is catering to a large number of people which increases the likelihood of one thing or the other going wrong. Therefore, this means that you need to be extra careful to ensure that matters are kept in order.
How do you ensure that the attendees at this event don’t really pose a threat to your event? Or if some public breakout happens. Wouldn’t you want to know who the individual was who started it all?
With FRT, law enforcement agencies have the option to scan the faces of anyone and everyone who attends the public event and keep tabs on them. In case they do something to disrupt the event. Moreover, if you end up catching a perpetrator with no ID on them. You could always use FRT to find out who the person is and charge a case against them for their disorderly conduct.
All in all, not only does FRT help with catching offenders. Also, enables law agencies to prevent crimes from occurring.
The Ugly Side Of FRT
While using FRT might come with its sets of benefits. There are growing public concerns about the level of intrusiveness this tool has and the lack of transparency that surrounds the usage of such a tool.
Through the use of FRT in public space, law enforcement agencies can monitor anyone whenever they wish to. Even law-abiding citizens just going about their daily lives. By putting them in such an uncomfortable situation, the agency creates a constant sense of “someone’s watching you” within the minds of citizens, leaving them questioning every move of theirs.
The next concern has to do with the issue of gaining trust. This is probably the most crucial aspect of the entire discussion.
The questions revolve around the mere compliance of FRT with the law. Also, the accuracy of the technology, and the sheer bias that might interfere in its working. Another concern is how it can protect those that may be of no interest to the police. How can they be sure that they won’t be spied on? How do the systems themselves guard against false positives and the negative impact them?
Another major issue is the lack of national-level coordination in assessing the privacy risks and the development of a comprehensive governance framework to see the development of FRT.
These issues coupled with the lack of a concrete and comprehensive database system make the FRT a rather risky initiative.
Trying To Find A Balance
The electronic frontier foundation (EFF) has taken steps to impose some restrictions on the use of facial recognition by both the government and private companies. Not only have they testified in US Court to showcase their support for the need for restrictive measures. Also, made their voice heard at national and international conferences.
They’ve continued their efforts by launching public record requests to obtain secret information on face recognition systems. While this effort has not yielded many positive results. It still helps to raise a voice and create public opinion amongst concerned citizens.
Identifying Suspects At A Crime Scene
By using Facial Recognition with the combination of Azure Cloud Services or Amazon Web Services etc, if a police officer is wearing a helmet with a webcam and scanning a crime scene, he can identify suspects who have a past criminal history. It would need immense computing power but that would compensate through the use of cloud servers and connectivity on the go wherever the officers are. The biggest advantage of this would be to identify any suspects based on past criminal activity and detain them for questioning.
Verifying The Truth:
Another advantage of Facial Recognition would be to identify the suspect through police offer’s inquiry. If the suspect is not carrying his ID and tells the police officer a fake name, the wearable headset or glasses worn by the police officer would inform him about the person’s actual identity. Not only would this aid in the investigation but it will also help identify the culprit.
Foolproof Security At Critical Locations:
Facial Recognition can also help in ensuring foolproof security at critical locations for instance banks where the on-duty guard will be wearing glasses to identify the customers coming in and going out. In case a criminal comes, if the person has a previous history then the guard would know through the glasses and he would be able to take action. And even if the person is a new criminal, the identity of the criminal will send back to the cloud server from where the police force can take the necessary action as they have all the required details to find the culprit involved. The same approach can be implemented to CCTV cameras that alert the concerned department if a hostile approach to the facility.
While Facial Recognition may not be available in a lot of areas commercially these days. In the future, it presents a massive opportunity to change the way of working of many segments. We have touched upon a few examples above by its application in law enforcement agencies.