The State of Facial Recognition Surveillance in 2022

by Remote Technology

As facial recognition becomes more and more integrated into our everyday lives and technology, the obvious question that arises is: how can this technology be used to keep people safer? And can it help you run your business?

facial recognition surveillanceHow does Facial recognition surveillance work?

Facial recognition surveillance cameras (and other programs) create what’s called a face print or a facial signature by identifying different facial landmarks and mapping them onto a grid using metrics like the distance between the eyes, and the distance from forehead to chin. Once this is generated, it is then compared to millions of other unique facial signatures in a database to see if there is a match.

What are the downsides?

Currently, the accuracy of facial recognition software is lower than more traditional biometric technologies like iris and fingerprint scanners, but the benefit of having contact-free identification is pushing the technology to improve quickly. In fact, a study published in 2020 by the Center for Strategic & International Studies found that in ideal conditions, facial recognition technology now reaches a 99.97% accuracy rate. 

Today, when deployed in real-life conditions (rather than in “ideal” conditions, like in passport photos or mugshots), facial recognition accuracy hovers around 90% generally. The error rate can be notably higher, however, for people with darker skin tones or people who do not fall neatly into the gender binary. The technology can also sometimes struggle to identify someone once they have aged.

Who is using facial recognition surveillance now?

Facial recognition surveillance technology is already being deployed in a lot of different real-life settings. For instance, the U.S. government has been using facial recognition cameras in airports as a way of identifying people who have overstayed their visas or are trying to enter the country suspiciously, or people who may be under criminal investigation. Retail stores have begun using facial recognition to identify customers who exhibit repeated suspicious behavior, or potential shoplifters. Some businesses have traded in security badges for facial recognition software, allowing them to more closely control who enters restricted areas.

facial recognition surveillance

How can facial recognition surveillance help your business?

Facial recognition surveillance clearly has a long list of applications, and chances are, at least a few of them could be useful to your business. A security system that integrates facial recognition could alert the authorities of an unauthorized presence within your building, before a person has even noticed the intrusion. Programs can also be used to automatically lock certain doors once an unauthorized person has entered the area. Aside from these obvious security benefits, facial recognition is being used by some companies to market to customers more effectively, sending targeted ads to consumers they know have visited their stores. Whether you’re interested in keeping people out of your secure business or luring people into your store, facial recognition surveillance technology is worth considering.

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