Face Facts: A Forum on Facial Recognition Technology, Project No. P115406 #00039 

Submission Number:
Ivars Osis
Outside the United States
Initiative Name:
Face Facts: A Forum on Facial Recognition Technology, Project No. P115406
Facial recognition is a technology that will have a place in the future indefinitely. Its uses will continue to expand in ever more imaginative and invasive ways. It will be used to compromise a person's privacy in ways hitherto unimagined. As it is used in social networking situations, so it will be used in advertising, promotion, and what will probably be called, “immediate or interactive advertising,” where simply walking by a retail establishment or a retail district will trigger either a visual or auditory advertisement or other means of engaging a potential customer. This will eventually go ballistic, the sheer momentum of the implementations and unimagined usage of the technology guiding the way. Government regulation and shaping of this fledgling industry and its uses in so many areas of life -- from the automobile, to the phone, to the computer, to the television, to gaming (both online and platform based), to interactive signage in malls, supermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops, service stations, parking garages, air terminals, bus terminals, cruise ships, as well as commercial applications dealing with shipping and transportation of goods, not to mention border control and access control in a variety of applications and venues -- will always be too little, too late, with the government always trying to play catch up with that which has not existed before.The dystopia envisioned by Philip K. Dick so clearly portrayed in the film, Minority Report, gives us only a small glimpse of what the possible uses of facial recognition may be. Although based on iris recognition in the film, facial recognition could be even more easily seen as the technology of choice in this scenario. Where the surgical removal of eyeballs was the only means to anonymity for those not wishing to participate in the society so eerily described, the relatively new medical procedure of full face transplants would be the only relief or means to anonymity possible in a society dominated by facial recognition technology in all it’s myriad implementations. Having said that, the technology itself is very exciting and generally very safe and effective. It continues to grow in strength and accuracy, making strong inroads into the world of 3-D. And, it’s use will continue to expand as far as the imagination can reach. Where there’s a face, there’s a way. I speak from experience.