We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point.

from NYTs

Communities across the United States are starting to ban facial recognition technologies. In May of last year, San Francisco banned facial recognition; the neighboring city of Oakland soon followed, as did Somerville and Brookline in Massachusetts (a statewide banmay follow). In December, San Diego suspended a facial recognition program in advance of a new statewide law, which declared it illegal, coming into effect. Forty major music festivals pledged not to use the technology, and activists are calling for a nationwide ban. Many Democratic presidential candidates support at least a partial ban on the technology.

These efforts are well intentioned, but facial recognition bans are the wrong way to fight against modern surveillance. Focusing on one particular identification method misconstrues the nature of the surveillance society we’re in the process of building. Ubiquitous mass surveillance is increasingly the norm. In countries like China, a surveillance infrastructure is being built by the government for social control. In countries like the United States, it’s being built by corporations in order to influence our buying behavior, and is incidentally used by the government.

More here.

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28 Comments

  1. Facial recognition. Imagine the lens of a camera being able to recognize your face through sensors and is able to differentiate your face from others. Now, facial recognition technologies are starting to become illegal in some cities in the nation because facial recognition technologies can be used to identify people and bans are starting to be put in place to fight against modern surveillance.

    Facial recognition software, as well as many other ways of collecting data such as through fingerprints, your heartbeats, patterns in your eye and even by your walking style, are being gathered up by data brokers who make a living analyzing data about us and are selling it without our consent to companies such as Google and Facebook which is also a possibility that when surfing the internet, the ads and results are most likely catered to you as companies use this ingenious strategy to market many products and services to consumers and obviously, to profit.

    Not only that facial recognition software offers benefits or positives, but it could also be used for harm or for negative purposes. Take the Chinese Communist government for example who’s strict rules and Communist ideology uses multiple identification technologies to survey and watch the every move of it’s citizens or in other words, spying on them. The Chinese Communist government have been using their advanced facial recognition technology as well as other ways of collecting data to monitor people roaming on the streets determining if they are citizens, foreigners or even Hong Kong protestors or supporters whom if they are protestors or sympathizers, they will move swiftly to detain and interrogate them about their activities in the self-autonomous region thanks to their marvelous spy technology.

    On the bright side, facial recognition technology can be used to increase security measures for a person or a company when guarding private and secret information on a smartphone to decreasing the chances that a hacker is able to hack into one’s bank account or access a large bank vault containing a lot of monetary and valuable items. You see, people are becoming smarter and smarter every day and are already finding ways to bypass security so a total facial recognition technology ban isn’t going to help but if so, at least institute a partial ban on it.

  2. Surveillance, specifically by the government is an interesting new issue that has arisen in society. Needless to say, people are upset that the government is able to use new technology to survey citizens even though they have been doing so for decades. I find it surprising that so many people are hesitant of the government’s involvement in surveillance yet are more comfortable with large corporations essentially doing the same exact thing but profiting from it. Government surveillance does indeed set a dangerous precedent that could inevitably lead to the government invading the countries privacy. However, there are arguments for increased government surveillance that I personally find somewhat convincing. One of the arguments is that increased surveillance would improve national security. Ever since the terrorist attacks on September 11, there has been an increased amount of surveillance that the government conducts that has caught and stopped multiple terrorist attacks. The NSA has admitted to previously surveying millions of Americans’ phone calls and messages. Facial recognition, however, is an interesting concept, especially considering how the government could use that data. Facial recognition could reveal more information about people that were previously unknown to governments and companies alike. We can see the use of facial recognition by the government in China, where the government has utilized this new technology to socially control its people. They have used facial recognition to determine what people are citizens, who is a foreigner and even identify Hong Kong protesters. Often, they use this information to track down and interrogate these citizens. The communist government has used this technology to oppress its people. In the United States, this has not been as much of an issue, however, it could lead to breaches of privacy in the future. Mainly we have seen people willingly give up their facial ID to replace their typical phone passwords and other security measures. I don’t think that banning facial recognition technology will prevent any form of surveillance that the government conducts or prevent them from obtaining information. However, I think that companies could abuse that technology and obtain dangerous amounts of information about potential customers, competitors, and other parties.

  3. One of the genres of entertainment I find most fascinating is the dystonia genre. Stories such as 1984 depict a horrifying world were people’s every movement is being watched by their totalitarian government. In these stories the societies the protagonists inhabit are nonfunctional hellscapes that exist for the dual purpose of ensuring the perpetual misery of the citizenry inhabiting it and maintaining the power of the ruling elites. These stories are depictions of a future that I personally find revolting. Over the past decade it has seem that many powerful organizations have used aspects from these stories to create modern surveillance state.

    It is odd to think what past generations feared the establishment of a pernicious force watching over everything they did, yet modern people are living in it with little notation that such an apparatus exists. To think that all one needs in order to receive information on the whereabouts of any American is to buy it from companies such as Google and Facebook is a rather unsettling idea. With the many different ways a company could obtain a person’s private information, it makes one wonder whether such a concept as privacy even exists in the modern world. Even if the federal government or state government start regulating the information market, is it even possible to reserve the affects? Much of this data is publicly displayed in people’s Facebook accounts or Twitter bios. Is it illegal for social media corporations for selling information that their users publicly post on their website?

    I think in order to prevent the further profiting from people’s private data the people must be further informed about the dangers of posting information to the wen. People also must be convinced to display less of their personal information in their social media accounts. The next major action that needs to be taken, is that the federal government must pass laws banning the purchasing of private data that people don’t consent to displaying to the public, such as health records and MAC addresses. Lastly the federal government should force social media companies to inform their users (both current and future) that they will sell any information posted to the website by their users to various companies. These actions will hopefully help the public be in a better position to secure their private data from people and organizations that they would not like to see having their data.

  4. Machine learning is evolving fast enough that some states are considering state-wide bans of the technology. Don’t be confused, these aren’t any longer ordinary cameras with a few modifications. This new facial recognition technology can identify a person without their knowledge or consent. The cameras that are utilizing this technology are becoming smaller and powerful. Imagine being identified by camera without even knowing it, this is the world we find ourselves getting closer to everyday.
    It is amazing and frightening simultaneously that technology is are becoming advanced enough to even identify a person solely from their heartbeat by using a laser-based system. Cameras are even starting to read fingerprints and iris prints from incredible distances. The technology being developed is starting to seriously echo the creativity of science fiction.
    The main problem with these cameras is that our information can be tracked without us knowing it and then stored by data broker and sold. This is a prospering industry and companies like Google and Facebook are major players in the racket of trading people’s personal information. Google even bought Fitbit to have access to health records, desperately collecting more information from people. Companies also buy license plate data from states, to have the most information about citizens at their disposal. This industry of data brokerage is close to entirely unregulated. The reason for all this coverage is to treat each customer differently. You can see the ads that pop up on your browser, you are being specifically targeted based on your own personal information. I though an interesting point in the article was when the author suggested that we may be treated differently in the future when we enter stores just as we are when we visit websites today.
    Th author points out that banning facial recognition will not solve the problem completely. If facial recognition is banned, surveillance systems will switch to identifying people based on their smartphone MAC addresses. The underlying problem is that our consent to being identified is not occurring, and until we establish rules about who can be identified and who can’t, banning facial recognition will not help.

  5. Mass servalence has always been an interesting topic to talk about. To live in a society where everyone is watched around the clock is a frightening idea. you lose a little bit of freedom and privacy for safety and security. To me i think its not worth the trade. I would rather have privacy over safety. With the advancement in technology it is obvious that privacy is becoming more of a nice idea rather than a reality. This article proves that from the examples of the camera seeing my fingure prints to being tracked by my own phone. The scariest part for me is the thought that my own information is out on the market for sale to companies to advertise for me. A line has to be drawn at some point to Protect us from this invasion of property. I am all for the advancement of technology to a point. I think that teachable Artificial intelegence is a place that mankind should not go to. how many movies were made signifing why we should not do that. Termanitor is a great example or even eagle eye with shia labeouf. At some point the law needs to step in to protect us and our privacy. They should start by adding a statue that prohibits the sale of personal information to companies as well as a ban on the aquisition of data on who we are, what we buy, and what we do. There needs to be some type of legal rescrition. The way is by adding a statue that prohibits the sale of personal information, tracking phones, as well as search history. Unless the companies add in an “i accept to said terms” when they begin the usage of x technology. This is a terrible thing that is happening in todays day and age. There is just no need for these compaines to data mine for our information or from an ethical perspective there is no need for the data miners to even allow the sale of our information to these companies without our consent. I mean, isnt the information that is being sold our property. Using that idea, then the companies have no right for the sale of our property.

  6. Originally when talking about surveillance, the government implementing facial recognition was the worst thing that can happen. But considering this as the wrong problem is an interesting take on this worldwide concern. Many Americans including myself would think that having the government to be able to tell though identifying my face that this would be the worst thing to happen in the world of surveillance. While the possibilities of the facial recognition are getting better and self-learning capabilities of this machine is becoming more sophisticated it allows for more information to be shared faster. The article states that by focusing on banning on type of surveillance we are neglecting the societal norm that data collecting has become. I do not agree that the true underlying problem is the data collecting that corporate America is doing. This type of data collecting can always be regulated and even stopped by government regulation. When the government wants to put facial recognition at all stop lights or any where they can to track our every movements it becomes a point to just keeping your private life private. In the sense of businesses, it easier to regulate that entity than it would be to stop the government from abusing something as powerful as what facial recognition could become. I think the idea that there is systemic surveillance or a surveillance culture in America is first an uneducated statement. There is a huge difference between knowing what sketchy things people are looking up online and the government knowing every time you leave your house. The difference between the two is to vast to ignore and saying they are even relatable is something that should not be said because it could give the lesser educated the wrong idea about what kind of data that is going on now. “Facial recognition is the perfect tool for oppression…the most uniquely dangerous surveillance mechanism ever invented”(Bailey) if facial recognition is allowed in American towns it would a clear violation or rights to a level that surpasses anything companies are doing today. One argument I have seen against the data collecting would be that it collects all data even “Personal Information” the personal information like a Social or bank account, the government either gave to you or knows about. In reality, with the government we don’t have an expectation of complete privacy, but without facial recognition we are clawing to keep the last bit of privacy left in this now digital world. It is naive to think the country that created the Internet has not been tracking it since the beginning of time. Everything anyone has ever done on the Internet, yes even the corporations collecting your data are under the microscope of the government. While the entire idea of any type of tabs being kept on American citizens is a bad one, I do believe that many states outlawing the extremely oppressive system that is facial recognition is a big win and should not be looked at as the wrong win, or even as being the wrong agenda all together.

  7. Facial recognition is one of those practices that are the subject of a never-ending debate. As many of the modern technologies used in our society, facial recognition is a tool that can be used either ethically or not. Now, the context surrounding the use of facial recognition is important to understand wether the practice is used ethically or not. Take criminal investigations as an example. In these cases, facial recognition has proven to be effective when it comes to matching the facial features of a certain person to photos or videos found in a database containing media raging from security cameras to social media posts. So, in this context, facial recognition can be used to facilitate an investigation process. When it comes to private companies driven by profit, however, it is more likely that facial recognition is used for personal benefit without considering all the ethical implications. This can be reduced to the violation of privacy, which is also a recurrent subject regarding online platforms. Facial recognition, in fact, is linked to the data that these internet platforms collect from us. Private companies may use this data to get a sense of our daily activities in order to promote a certain good, but despite the case, the effectiveness of facial recognition depends on the amount of information available; this means that the more people whose information is gathered the better. It is stressing to know that we are being watched, but it seems as if most of the society does not realize the magnitude of this or has simply learned to live with it. In a political context, however, I believe that facial recognition can become a worst issue. If a government as strict as China’s uses this tool to not influence but explicitly control the behavior of the society, then more than stressful it would turn to a scary situation. I understand how facial recognition can imply an outrageous invasion of our privacy, but as long as it is not used as a tool to establish a totalitarian regime in a Big Brother sort of scenario where the people become its puppets, I wouldn’t worry a lot about the use of facial recognition at least in the United States. I think that we should wait and evaluate how the use of this tool keeps evolving.

  8. In my opinion, I do not feel that facial recognition is a problem in our society. At times, it may be a breach in privacy that we want to eliminate, however, it does help in times when crimes are being detected. Facial recognition is one of the less privacy evasive technologies that we have. If everyone continues to ban facial recognition, the only ways to find people will have to be by Social Security, witnesses, bank transactions, etc. My question then becomes, without facial recognition, do the governments that are banning it not believe that other countries/societies are creating more advanced versions of this recognition system? There are so many technology savvy people that will develop new ways of surveillance rapidly, allowing other governments and societies to pick up these same techniques without any hesitation.

    Despite trying to an facial recognition, it is important to consider how many businesses use facial recognition software to keep track of their business and those who come in and out. This particular technology is not only used to intrude on people’s privacy, but it is used for a sense of protection for many. As said in the title, “we are missing the point” of what is truly the problem with certain methods of privacy invasion. Facial recognition is not the problem, the problem stems from those who use it, along with how it is being used to keep track of others every move.

  9. This article on facial recognition being banned was surprising to me. I did not know that this was the main issue for people in today’s world. I’m used to facial recognition being used to just unlock phones. The article states, “In countries like China, a surveillance infrastructure is being built by the government for social control.” This is alarming that the government of a country wants to control and use our faces as a way to make us behave in certain ways. The article also says that “Facial recognition is a technology that can be used to identify people without their knowledge or consent.” This is alarming because we could be under surveillance for the rest of our lives and we might not know it. These cameras are being placed around and are said to be for security reasons, but in reality, it is a tactic used by governments to understand how their people behave and what kind of daily routines people perform throughout their lives.
    Facial recognition is not the only concern that we have. Technology has changed and adapted so much through the past 10 years. “People can be identified at a distance by their heartbeat or by their gait, using a laser-based system. Cameras are so good that they can read fingerprints and iris patterns from meters away. And even without any of these technologies, we can always be identified because our smartphones broadcast unique numbers called MAC addresses.” We can be identified from meters away and never even know it. The government can know your exact location from a hidden camera that they placed that you may never even see. This is a big deal with people and their privacy. It is so hard for people to be able to find time for themselves. When people learned about these new identification technologies, of course, everyone went up in arms to stop this.
    Another problem with these cameras watching us all the time is that three major components come with recognition. These components comprise identification, correlation, and discrimination. I never really thought about these especially discrimination. To properly identify someone, you need to know ethnicity. This could cause those who do not take kindly to minorities and use this technology to hurt those in minority groups. This new technology can also be used in politics to help create dirt on competitors and create an unfair advantage for others. There are too many negatives that could happen to make it worth it. The amount of paranoia could occur could be too much that it may consume our society as a whole.

  10. After reading the title of this article, I was automatically drawn to it as the topic is one of my go to readings. I personally am stuck between supporting and going against the ban of facial recognition after reading this article. I use facial recognition within my phone for various different purposes like unlocking my phone, filling in passwords, and even purchasing items. When Apple first released this feature, I was not thinking about what doors this would open to my personal information. We put a lot of trust into the devices that we utilize without thinking who within these brands or companies can see what we are doing or storing. I do realize that the government or state can find out a lot of information on people from features like this or high-tech devices that are being designed so I know that the facial recognition is not the peak of my worries. The article mentions that technology such as cameras, license plate data, online servers and laser-based systems can be used to identify people. I think that these new types of identification devices are something that people should be notified and aware of as it can be used against them. The laser system mentioned above can identify people based on their heart beat and the cameras can now read peoples’ fingerprints, both from a distance. I think that people are focusing too much on the facial recognition technology that is going on, rather than the bigger problem of their personal information being taken and used against them without their knowledge. I think that there should be laws put into place about when one’s personal data can be taken and used for whatever purposes that these companies or governments are using it for. The article’s title mentions that “We’re Missing the Point” and I completely agree with that phrase. I think that this facial technology is creating a distraction for what is yet to come and all that can we can do is wait and see the results.

  11. Facial recognition is a very big part of our everyday lives. If you have an iPhone X and any newer models, you get a Face ID program that comes with the phone. This uses facial recognition to unlock your phone by just looking at the front facing camera. This feature even automatically adapts to changes in your appearance, and even works in complete darkness by using an infrared camera. In the article I read from the New York Times, I learned that facial recognition is used in a way bigger scale than I previously had thought. Learning that cameras on the street and in stores can facially recognize me along with where I move is very scary. User data online is breached already, and companies are using our data to push ads for items we have viewed recently. With facial recognition and the ability to trace a person’s day with their face opens up a whole new system that could be exploited. I believe that this along with online user data are very invasive. When companies use information whether it be online or this new type of advanced identification technology, it is very concerning for me. With this there is unlimited possibility to getting your personal information like bank credentials, daily routines, and even health data. When companies like Google, and Apple have that data, there is no telling what they can do with it. I personally would rather have the United States government and the agencies that work under it to have this data than those companies and ones like them. This can help with identifying people who commit crimes, and I feel that facial recognition would be groundbreaking for local police all the way to government agencies like the FBI. In my opinion you must have strict regulation with this. If the United States were to become like China and use facial recognition for social control, that would be unconstitutional and would be a wrong use. Overall facial recognition, with its consequences and benefits is a fantastic new technology that has arisen in recent years, and in the future it will only be used more.

  12. Like many different technological creations, facial recognition seems to be made with good intentions. These good intentions like identification comes with a price to society. Society views the abuse of facial recognition as overstepping personal privacy. Being that we live in a technological dependent era, it seems like facial recognition is inevitable, especially after popular phones adopted this idea into their devices. Yet, in the article We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point, written by Bruce Schneier, he states, “In December, San Diego suspended a facial recognition program in advance of a new statewide law, which declared it illegal, coming into effect. Forty major music festivals pledged not to use the technology, and activists are calling for a nationwide ban. Many Democratic presidential candidates support at least a partial ban on the technology,” (Schneier Par 1). Even though this technology advancement seems to be a regular thing now, society are not all complete fans of the idea.
    Later in the article Schneier states that, “It’s the same with faces; we can be tracked as we move around a store or shopping mall, even if that tracking isn’t tied to a specific name. And that anonymity is fragile: If we ever order something online with a credit card, or purchase something with a credit card in a store, then suddenly our real names are attached to what was anonymous tracking information,” (Schneier Par 9). Although yes, it would not make a difference whether we have facial recognition or not, I can see why society is upset about this idea. When we are in stores, we are not aware if being watched and that activity being linked to our identity. Also, when we are tracked online without facial recognition involved, we don’t really make sense of the idea of our security being breached. On the flip side when society hears that facial recognition is involved in breaches, we take it more personal because we visualize a face actually being put to the data kept. Society will feel some sort of violation because our face is somewhere in the cloud. Yet, in reality our face was always there.
    I think what needs to happen is more education on the topic of security so people would be more familiar with the topic. Security and how it works is a very tricky topic. But if we can teach others how to work it effectively, backlash could be kept to a minimum given not everyone is going to be pleased with everything.

  13. The article “We’re banning Facial Recognition. We’re missing the point” by Bruce Schneier explains why banning facial recognition is the wrong way to handle modern surveillance. Schneier beings by explaining what facial recognition actually is, “Facial recognition is a technology that can be used to identify people without their knowledge or consent. It relies on the prevalence of cameras, which are becoming both more powerful and smaller, and machine learning technologies that can match the output of these cameras with images from a database of existing photos”. Facial recognition existing is a scary thought but it is not surprising in a technology age where everything is public and no person, no matter who they are. Just knowing that someone in a data center has my full information based on just a picture is worrisome.

    Schnier explains how the surveillance state in China and the United States works, “In countries like China, a surveillance infrastructure is being built by the government for social control. In countries like the United States, it’s being built by corporations in order to influence our buying behavior, and is incidentally used by the government”. In my opinion, any company or person who uses facial recognition is making the world less safe. In a cyber society today, it is not surprising how these governments are using technology to get advantages on each other.

    Schneier ends the article by explaining why facial recognition must be regulated,”Today, facial recognition technologies are receiving the brunt of the tech backlash, but focusing on them misses the point. We need to have a serious conversation about all the technologies of identification, correlation and discrimination, and decide how much we as a society want to be spied on by governments and corporations — and what sorts of influence we want them to have over our live”. Schineier is right that we as society must bring awareness to this because in the end, we as human beings are extremely affected by this.

  14. I found this article very conflicting. Surveillance is a powerful tool that can save lives and prevent catastrophe. I do have to agree that privacy is being compromised. Schneier addresses us with face recognition. He stated, “Facial recognition is a technology that can be used to identify people without their knowledge or consent” (Schneier). He then follows with to talk about the importance of facial recognition and all the other technology that can identify you. China and the United States are mentioned in the article. These two countries control most of the market share in consumer goods. Information like facial recognition is a powerful tool that they can use in their society. Schneier stated, “China, a surveillance infrastructure is being built by the government for social control. In countries like the United States, it’s being built by corporations in order to influence our buying behavior, and is incidentally used by the government.” Our privacy and our freedom are being compromised, but I think it is worth it if it makes us safer.

    Edward Snowden argued, “We’re monitoring everybody’s communications, instead of suspects’ communications. That lack of focus has caused us to miss leads that we should’ve had.” There are downsides of our privacy and freedom being strip away, but if the outcome is everyone is a little safer then it is worth it. Without surveillance how one could stop terrorist attacks and prevent disaster from happening. “As cities grew and police found themselves driven to track more and more suspects, the need for organization loomed large ” (Guariglia). There are major benefits to surveillance to I think outways the negative.

    • Furthermore, in a CNN article after the Boston advocates on behalf of facial recognition. ” facial-recognition software and other technologies are making security-camera images more valuable to law enforcement”. It is a strong powerful tool that is helping law enforcement track down thieves and criminals. This could track a source of an epidemic like the coronavirus. “When you weigh cameras against other security measures, they emerge as the least costly and most effective choice. In the aftermath of 9/11, we’ve turned most public spaces into fortresses — now, it’s impossible for you to get into tall buildings, airports, many museums, concerts, and even public celebrations without being subjected to pat-downs and metal detectors. When combined with competent law enforcement, surveillance cameras are more effective, less intrusive, less psychologically draining, and much more pleasant than these alternatives”(Kelly). In short, surveillance cameras are infringing our rights but the risk is too great to nowt have surveillance

  15. Facial recognition technology is truly an amazing technological advancement. There are so many different ways that this technology can be used. In the article “We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point” by Bruce Schneier stated that this technology can be used by the government and businesses for advertisement purposes. This technology has the ability to identify a person based on the way that they walk, heartbeat and the pattern of their irises. The problem with this technology for some people is that they believe that it will invade their privacy. They do not feel comfortable with this technology existing and possibly being used on them. However, I think that people are only getting upset because its no longer over the internet but now more personal because it is their actual physical being now. The article went on to say that it doesn’t really matter because there are so many other ways that a person can be identified. Through the data that is collected from the apps that we use on our smartphones businesses and possibly the government can still obtain information about us. States can ban facial recognition technology but that’s not going to do much. All technology has evolved into tools that are meant to gather information about people. That’s how businesses make money and why most apps are free because people and their information are the product that is being sold. My personal opinion is that it doesn’t matter because this is not the worst or best, for some people. This technology hasn’t even reached its peak yet so there’s only more to come. However, the people that are truly upset about this equipment really need to consider the fact that the phone they use can do just about the same thing. Or even driving down the street police cars have the ability to get information about you just from scanning your license plate. A positive way to think about this technology is that it can be used to identify terrorists or prevent terroristic attacks. In conclusion, there is always going to be a problem of privacy when it comes to facial recognition and technologies similar to it.

  16. While the opinion of the writer within the article is sound, in that we do need to look at surveillance technologies as a whole, I do believe that there can be applications of this technology that could eventually benefit society. In the article it is discussed that laser technology can gauge who someone is based off of their gait and their heartbeat. For each individual, there is a normal and regular baseline. Very much similar to a “fitness band” that I wear currently, data is collected over a period of a month to determine what my baseline is. From there, it detects my; heart rate variability (the amount of time that passes between beats), resting heart rate, as well as sleep patterns. With all of this information a profile is created and any outliers or irregularities can be determined and are brought to my attention. This application of building a profile, I strongly believe can be extrapolated and used within surveillance technology. An individual could be notified if their heart beat is irregular – or if an individual has something wrong (physically) their gait can be altered and, again, can be notified and therefore be aware of an issue before it becomes more significant.

    In reality, as much as facial recognition and other technologies can be used to benefit companies and “big brother”, there are other instances that we as a society just simply ignore and deal with – why is this THAT much different? We allow certain applications on our phone to essentially collect data 24/7 and relay the information back to someone. Searches done on Google Chrome or other browsers eventually show up as ads on facebook or instagram. These are the same “targeted” and “directed” ads that the writer warns us about within his article.

  17. For security reasons, I like the idea of banning facial recognition. Today, it is very easy for hackers to take our information, and even our identity. There is plenty of software and malware that can be put on a phone to bypass the user’s facial recognition scan. They can also create artificial faces of people and use them to unlock stolen phones, if they do not turn the feature off upon stealing the phone. There are other, secure ways for people to secure their identity. They can make up a unique passcode that only they know so that people cannot access their phones so easily. In the instance that someone was robbing you, all they would have to do is outmuscle you enough to take your phone, put it in a good position for it to scan your face, then they have access to the entire phone. It would take someone too long to try and guess a password and without the right software or malware, they may even lock the phone from too many failed attempts.

    If a phone offers facial recognition to unlock the phone itself, it may offer facial recognition as login credentials for things like banking apps. Once again, it can be easy for a cyber criminal to access someone’s bank account just by using their face. This is why these apps should use two way authentication in order to access their account, such as texting a code to someone’s text messages or sending the code via email. That way, in the event of your phone being stolen or bank account being hacked, the hacker would either need a second device to log into your account or need access to either your email or text messages.

  18. Facial recognition, along with many other things, has its pros and cons. Personally, I think its efforts are well-intentioned at times and invading at other times. For that reason is why I support only partial bans on facial recognition.
    One of the major benefits of facial recognition is for safety and security. As an aspiring federal agent, I applaud the opportunities this method gives law enforcement the upper hand in catching criminal activities quickly and effectively. Those who commit crimes are aware of the heightened risk in their getting caught. In using facial recognition, officers can apprehend an accused criminal within twenty-four hours of the incident. In recognizing the unlikelihood of getting away with a crime, the individual has a lower chance of committing it. In addition, facial recognition can help with finding missing people without needing a physical search party every day. Facial recognition reaps many benefits, especially in the safety of citizens.
    Unfortunately, facial recognition can be invading at times. There are many individual privacy concerns related to it because there are not enough rules and regulations to oversee the software. Facial recognition systems, as many people know, can analyze millions of images and videos from sources such as smartphones, social media, and online activity. In this, also comes the ability to easily track anyone and anything. For instance, it is no longer necessary for someone who wants to stalk you to physically follow you because our faces are being scanned every day. Our daily activities such as trips to the grocery store, restaurants, or even walking down the street are being logged without us knowing. If that information falls into the wrong hands, your life and those you know can be in danger within seconds.
    Facial recognition started off as well-intentioned but has grown to be an invading software at times. Only a partial ban is necessary because it aids in the perseverance of our safety but needs added rules and regulations to ensure that it does not strip our rights to privacy. Mass surveillance will always be a topic of conflict, but as the article points out, there is much more to it than facial recognition. In order to enact genuine change and ensure our well-being, all matters of the mass surveillance issues must be addressed and regulated.

  19. Facial recognition, as scary and futuristic as it sounds, is the least of our worries compared to the other technological methods used to obtain our personal information. The headline, “We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re missing the point,” immediately grabbed my attention. How could banning facial recognition used by governments and corporations be missing the point? We seem to think we know about the parameters of privacy and security, but this article shows how our personal information can be observed, recorded, and analyzed when doing simple, everyday activities. As someone who grew up with and is familiar with modern technology, I’ve recently been shocked to discover how much automation plays a part in our society. While searching for internships and jobs, I learned that resumes and cover letters are now mostly read by “robots” that quickly scan for keywords and grammatical errors. This process basically filters the good applications that are worthy of being read by actual humans. Again, I consider myself pretty up-to-date in terms of technological advancements, but if these methods of the data industry surprise me, I’m sure they surprise a lot of other people as well. The point is that, first and foremost, we as a country need to educate ourselves about how technology is changing and how it impacts our day to day lives.

    As mentioned, I questioned the headline of this article at first glance. Upon reading it, I quickly understood what author, Brian Schneier of the New York Times, was emphasizing. Basically, facial recognition is being used as a sort of scapegoat for the tech and data industries. It seems to a majority of the public, facial recognition sounds the scariest or most dystopian. The fact of the matter is that nowadays, governments and corporations can obtain much more than just a record of your face. The real issue is how they cross reference the information they have regarding finances, purchasing patterns, income, etc., with said records of our faces. If they have all that information on you already, is a recognition system that can identify your face really the worst of your concerns? If the data industry is already obtaining and selling our information, I feel facial recognition is inconsequential to the other breaches of our privacy.

  20. This article is such an important topic nowadays. From our phones basically being an extension of our arms, to having our phones needing our finger print or face to unlock, we are constantly being bombarded by privacy issues. It continues to amaze me how much we don’t realize or even care about the reality that our information is being distributed to companies like Google and Facebook without our knowledge or consent. The author’s usage of the word “discrimination” was brilliant and I could not agree more with that sentiment. I never even thought about this being a possibility with the emergence of facial recognition. This new technology will create divisions in the way people will be treated when shopping, and that will completely change the merchandising and sales industry. Personally, if I know that it is likely to get discriminated against while shopping in person, I would start shopping online more often. If many people thing along the same lines as I do, then I would be interested to see how the mall industry would hold up.

  21. To me, facial recognition has always seemed very futuristic and that it is only from Hollywood movies. When Apple came up with face recognition, where you can open your iPhone without even touching your device, I started to realize that the governments have already had these recognition systems for a longer period of time.

    I think people are finally starting to catch up to the fact that the government probably has huge amounts of information on everyone, and it is understandable that some people feel very anxious about this. They start to fear for their privacy, but people need to learn more about the technology and try to keep themselves up to date. I know I haven’t kept myself up to date about the technology changes, but I think I should start doing it more.

    Facial recognition is a very cool concept to me. How a computer scans a face and immediately connects it to some personal information. I read from somewhere that there are over 500,000 CCTV cameras in London. If you go on a stroll around London you’ll probably be captured by thousands of cameras. If they have the facial recognition system, the government would know your location almost at any point. I think it is a good thing for public safety, even though it sounds that it is straight from the Black Mirror-Tv show. It does compromise the personal privacy of civilians but it also helps the officials a lot when they are trying to capture someone.

  22. I’ve always noticed that when I talk about buying a particular item and then log into my Facebook or my Instagram ads pop up about that item. I see so many people talk about how creepy those things are or how they don’t like it but what are we doing about it? I think it goes far past just facial recognition. Facial recognition is a small portion of what companies and the government are able to know about us. We see the cool gadgets that make “our lives easier” being shown in these ads but that is just another way to give consent to let companies into our home.
    The article talks about how in certain countries like China, for example, they are creating surveillance infrastructures by the government for social control. In places like the US, the companies are funding these places to be built. They take this information that they gather and use it to persuade our buying ways. That is why when you talk about something or you google something it starts popping up ads. They either pop up about exactly what you were looking for or similar products. I don’t think it is fair to the consumer to be using the information to persuade our buying behaviors. I think it is becoming too much invasion of privacy to us.
    I recently just told my mom about stuff that is happening with the apps that you sign up for like Facebook and others. She was someone who had no idea that this was happening. I don’t think a lot of Americans know what is going on with how much companies actually know about us. As well as how much they track our every move. It is not the apps or the company’s fault that we don’t know because every time you sign up for an app such as Facebook there is a page that lays out what information they will track and what they will use it for. Most people don’t take the time to read that page. It is a very long page, so we just scroll to the bottom and click agree. This is a conversation that we need to start opening up so more people can understand what is happening. Also, we as Americans can make the necessary choices that need to be made about this topic. Just by banning facial recognition is not going to change how much information they have and use on us.

  23. When facial recognition was incorporated into phones it was because only one person could have that face. Face recognition was considered more secure than fingerprints which came to be because passcodes were becoming insecure. But with more protection with face recognition also comes the invasion of privacy. Many people cover their phone cameras and computers and disable their microphones because they believe the government is watching or listening. More and more people use VPNs to better protect themselves, prevent tracking, their search history, and block pop ups. If companies are able to gather data from applications and search histories and then sell it for profit. The government could gather data from people with facial recognition but is how they use the data that would determine how the people react. People feel protected by the laws banning facial recognition but others would agree that looking into the future is better.
    There is a perfect example of the government using facial recognition to evade privacy. The article talks about China which is perfect. They have developed facial recognition surveillance cameras designed to recognize any wanted person, however all of that information is used by compiling all the information of all their citizens. All that information in their system means that the Chinese government knows who is out in the streets and who is not. The Surveillance cameras are supposed to serve as a form of security for China but at the cost of Chinese citizens giving up their privacy. So with the banning of Face recognition its complicated to know if it’s doing a good or a bad. The Chinese government is able to efficiently capture anyone wanted within minutes or seconds but there are flaws to the system. Facial recognition can only recognise people by their face so many would cover there’s in a form of hiding from the government in broad daylight.
    Communities banning facial recognition puts a sense of positivity on protecting privacy but there is neutrality wondering if that is the future for security of the people. It is really hard to determine what is best for protecting people especially if it involves them giving up some of their privacy. The governments become more and more untrusted by their people as evidence of their privacy has shown to be used with the excuse that they are only better protecting their citizens. There are always those who fear change and become receptive to it because change requires them to adapt to what they are not used to. There are great things that facial recognition could bring to countries and the whole world. But there is also a bad thing that facial recognition could bring. Seeing China using facial recognition, then people can imagine where exactly would governments focus facial recognition devices, what is the overall purpose of them, and what exactly they could bring for the better of society. The true potential of facial recognition would be unknown unless we let it develop but there could be consequences if we are wrong and the system becomes misuse.

  24. This article leaves a weird taste in my mouth. I understand the approach the article is trying to take, in that it is trying to draw the focus to the bigger picture, but in doing so I believe it is diminishing the importance of the laws to ban facial recognition. Very few things happen overnight, and toppling a vast network of data collection and sharing will never be one of those things. It is simply a part of the world we live in currently until we begin to take steps, like this one, to eliminate it. I doubt anyone who cares about this issue will see this as a win, and while it is likely that this article shares those same views, it does not show.

    Banning facial recognition is a step in the right direction for privacy. Instead of downplaying it and being pessimistic, I believe the right approach would be to encourage further expansions of these bans. Saying that they are missing the point will lead many to believe that these laws are bad, when in fact they are good. In all likelihood the future will bring more “bans” against data collection software and hardware. Privacy is one of the biggest issues of the technology age.

    So, if I were writing this article I would praise the bans on facial recognition, and instead of saying that the bans miss the point, I would simply encourage further action. For example, limit the data that can be sold or shared. No one can foresee what the future of privacy looks like, but I imagine it will be a contested issue for many years to come. Technology is growing exponentially, and as more technology comes about it will be easier to gather and sell data. There is hope in these laws, and potentially in the fact that technological advances may also bring more privacy as well. So, in a future that I want to live in, I hope to see continuation on the protection of privacy, and not articles dismissing it.

  25. Facial recognition is something that is used every day in today’s society. Many companies have been using it in order to use the data for specific reasons. As stated in the article, the government uses it for social recognition and corporations use it in order to get power over the consumer. One can infer that corporations are using this data in order to specify target markets in order to decide who they should sell to. Apple is a good example of a company that uses facial recognition as a way to access phones. Apple stores all of this data and can choose what to do with it. They could sell it just like companies sell email addresses and phone numbers. The concern is that controlling one way of surveillance will not be the right way to go about this.
    With Democratic candidates agreeing with some a ban of the facial recognition, it is quite concerning to see how much they are willing to ban on facial recognition, but nothing about how cell phones are always listening, such as ads coming up after talking about something. This leads to the discussion of how other uses of surveillance can be managed. One topic of interest can be the app TikTok. This app allows people to post videos of themselves, typically dancing to some song. As previously discussed in class, many fail to realize how the app is owned by a Chinese company, who are known for gathering facial data in order for social control. Many kids have been falling into this and it can serve as a problem for the future. Another app titled “Talking Tom” was an app that used the built in camera to capture kids. This was done by a pedophile who used this app to talk to kids. This also poses a question about the standard of apps in order to be put on the app store. This is tough to work around because the app requires access to camera and microphone. In these responses I usually defer to kids and the future generations because kids are naive and they will continue to have a tougher future with all of the negative influences of technology.

  26. Banning facial recognition is honestly a good thing that is going to happen in the near future. If one is asleep, anyone can take your phone and scan it with your face. San Fran had already banned it last year in May. There are good intentions in why places all over are starting to ban facial recognition. For some, it is a way to fight against current modern surveillance. People want to focus more on other things. People have realized that facial recognition is starting to take over most places in technology.
    Businesses are using it to their advantages and that is the main reason why they are keeping it. In businesses like the United States, it is being used to influence buyers into thinking the company has a lot more to offer and to draw them in with all their new technology that they are showing off. They like to make their companies seem way more advanced than it really is. It is also being used a lot by the government regularly.
    Facial recognition is not always harmful, however. It also helps the government and police force chase down criminals. It violates human rights at the same time as well. If every state wants to ban the rule, it is going to take a long time and a hard time to stop it. Everyone must work together to protect their own individual selves and there must be a strict rule that gets established to reduce this access to Google, FaceBook, and other data booker industries that goes into someone else’s profile.

  27. With the advancement of technology in the 21st century and the newness it brings to the world, it can bring both good and bad circumstances. One instance in particular is face recognition. Facial recognition is something more recent in technological advancement that is raising questions of whether or not it is reliable. Many communities banned facial recognition and specifically, San Diego banned facial recognition, making it a statewide law and many now want a nationwide ban. Modern facial recognition systems have three components: identification, correlation and discrimination. A problem that rises from identification is facial recognition can be used in identifying people without consent. Once taken our facial recognition, our data about what we are doing can be identified and released and people can even purchase information about us without our knowledge. While I do not think facial recognition poses a serious threat right now, I believe that as technology evolves more and more within the next few years, facial recognition will become a prominent issue pertaining to private information about ones self. We cannot stop that advancement of technology, but we can definitely limit the way it works, so that personal data cannot be released without that persons knowledge or consent.

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