About a year-and-a-half ago, we looked at how Americans have mixed feelings about facial recognition. At that time, this software was emerging. In 2021, we see much more widespread usage. In fact, Analytics Insight recently described the top ten firms in the field. As a result, we see facial recognition becoming more problematic. Marketers must utilize extreme care in applying the technology.
For Consumers – Facial Recognition Becoming More Problematic
According to reports, facial recognition software remains on a strong growth trend. For instance, Allied Market Research reports that:
We expect the facial recognition market to garner $9.6 billion by 2022. Registering a CAGR of 21.3% during the forecast period 2016-2022. “Facial recognition” refers to a biometric technology used for authentication and identification of individuals. By comparing the facial features from an image with the stored facial database. The industry will witness robust growth during the forecast period. Because of the increasing usage in both law enforcement and non-law enforcement applications. Moreover, facial recognition seems widely preferred over other biometric technologies. Such as voice recognition, skin texture recognition, iris recognition, and fingerprint scanning. Due to its non-contact process and easy deployment (using cameras and existing monitoring devices). Currently, organizations most often use the technology for security and marketing purposes. As an example, some billboards include integrated software to identify gender, age, and ethnicity to deliver targeted advertising.
To read about Allied Market Research’s top 10, click the image.
Other Basic Considerations
Further basic considerations include these. As highlighted by 2021.AI:
When used for good, facial recognition technology helps us log into our phones. Go through passport control scanners at airports. Or identify a single terrorist from the 1,000 security cameras within a given city. However, facial recognition technology becomes problematic when biometric profiles are built of every individual. And then used for mass surveillance. Racial profiling. Or violations of human rights and freedoms.
In light of the protests worldwide, organizations like Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft have withheld selling these technologies to law enforcement. Thereby recognizing that citizens are subject to privacy erosion. To bias. Or to the risk of being misidentified. A ban on all facial recognition technology is not the solution. This will just spawn Shadow AI. And make it impossible to use biometric technology for the good uses. To tackle the issues, we need laws and regulations governing its use, and we need them fast.
The Downside of Latest Technological Advances
With advances in software, there are greater privacy threats. Thus, marketers must proceed with great care.
Computers once performed facial recognition imprecisely. By identifying people’s facial features and measuring the distances among them — a crude method that did not reliably result in matches. But recently, the technology improved significantly. However, now artificial intelligence software can analyze countless photos of people’s faces. And learn to make impressive predictions about which images are of the same person. The more faces it inspects, the better it gets. Clearview AI deploys this approach using billions of photos from the public Internet. By testing legal and ethical limits around the collection and use of those images, it has become the front-runner.
After Clearview’s activities came to light, Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts wrote the company asking that it reveal its law-enforcement customers and give Americans a way to delete themselves from Clearview’s data base. Officials in Canada, Britain, Australia, and the European Union also investigated. There were bans on police use of facial recognition in parts of the United States. And state legislatures imposed restrictions on it.
It seemed possible that Clearview AI would be sued, legislated, or shamed out of existence. That didn’t happen. With no federal law prohibiting or regulating the use of facial recognition, Clearview did not change most practices. It shut private companies’ accounts. Yet, it continued acquiring government customers. Clearview offered a free trial to anyone with a law-enforcement E-mail address. In addition, you could access Clearview AI for as little as $2,000 yearly. Most comparable vendors charged six figures. The company later raised the price.
To read more, click the image.