One of the first uses of facial recognition was as a military technology in Iraq and Afghanistan. Earlier this year, it was part of a controversial trial by London’s Metropolitan Police. How is this technology evolving to become a major part of everyday life?
We’re already seeing it. Many phones and applications offer the choice of having facial recognition as an alternative to a password, which provides a convenient and easy way to verify that it’s really you.
Of course, with that convenience comes a price and a worry about how it exactly works, who else has access to it and what it can be used for. It has the highest level of CCTV cameras per capita in any Western country. Those visiting the UK from more privacy-conscious countries like Germany are often shocked that people don’t seem to worry about it.
A natural progression of that is those cameras become smarter and smarter and they’re able to recognize people in different places. We see in China the controversy over social credit and the fact that as facial recognition improves, and as people are followed around in different contexts, they can be pinned to different locations or activities and be judged by those activities.