Should Your Brand Consider Facial Recognition?

By: admin

Facial recognition once sounded like something out of a science fiction film, but the technology is slowly acquiring mainstream integration. From casinos and sports stadiums to social media and personal devices, the ability for software to identify a human face is making a monumental wave in the security and privacy discussion. Several companies have found ways to use it—so, naturally, you are wondering: is it right for you as well?

How are brands using it?

You have probably heard how Apple’s iPhone X uses facial recognition software to identify its users in place of a code or fingerprint. The system works like other biometric technologies: it captures an image, extracts data (such as the locations of specific points on a human face), compares said information to other samples in its database, and then matches it with the final results.

How else are companies leveraging it? The dating site findyourfacemate.com believes that people are attracted to individuals that resemble them physically, so its software can scan users’ faces and match them with look-alikes. Facebook also has the ability to find your likeness in other people’s photos even if you are not tagged in them.

In the physical space, law enforcement and private security teams are experimenting with ways to use facial recognition to identify criminals as soon as they enter public areas. For example, if a person known for cheating while gambling enters a casino, the biometric software could scan his or her face, match it to their profile, and alert security guards of this person’s presence in the building. Bars and restaurants could theoretically pick out underage drinkers, and schools in the United Kingdom have even begun using it to take attendance.

What are the pros?

If you want to improve your company’s security, for your customers or possibly your colleagues, facial recognition can make it easier to track who enters and exits your building and who accesses your systems. You can receive alerts if any unregistered people attempt to do so without permission—and because the technology does not require human presence, it can work 24/7 with a potentially higher degree of accuracy.

Integrating biometric software is not remarkably difficult. With AnyVision, for instance, you do not need to purchase new equipment; their technology integrates with your existing CCTV cameras. If you use facial recognition software for accessing user accounts, you also make information more challenging to hack.

What are the cons?

One difficulty that facial recognition is still dealing with is camera angles. If surveillance equipment is facing the wrong direction, or if a person conceals their face in just the right way, the technology cannot extract enough data from their image to find a match. Existing systems are still foolable, too—if someone were to wear sunglasses or grow facial hair, the technology may not be able to recognize them.

There is also the issue of privacy. One of the most significant and relevant arguments against the implementation and widespread usage of facial recognition technology is that it can be invasive. No one likes to have their photograph taken without consent, and if that image is used and distributed in such a way that it infringes on their privacy, then they have every right to feel outraged about it. Facial recognition technology could enable a dangerous level of abuse, such as tracking individuals’ whereabouts and activities.

Is it for you?

If you are considering adopting facial recognition technology for your business, ask yourself: is there a place for it? Is it genuinely necessary? If you can organically implement such a system into your business, then it may be worth further research. However, if you are simply jumping on a new trend, it is wise to consider other security measures you can take. You do not want to enable ways for your customers, employees, and colleagues to be abused.

Ask those same parties what they think about facial recognition. Having your image captured and analyzed consensually is different than having it done without your knowledge. If people are aware that their pictures are being processed, such as for accessing an online account (or like the iPhone X), they may be more likely to embrace it. Finding out after the fact, however, like with what happened during Super Bowl XXXV, you will have a lot of angry people on your hands.

Facial recognition technology has numerous positive and negative implications. If the people involved with your business are comfortable with it, then you may have an opportunity to enhance your security measures dramatically. Do you believe that biometric analysis is appropriate for your brand?

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