Industry giants including IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft have cooled off on their pursuit of facial recognition technology after the Justice of Policing Act of 2020 was introduced to Congress on June 8th, 2020. If passed, the bill would restrict the way police utilize facial recognition technology.
Until recently, all three corporations have been developing facial recognition technology with multiple intended uses. Most notably, products were marketed to police and other law enforcement to aid in the identification of suspects through mugshots and publically available photos. The companies have committed to actions ranging from IBM completely discontinuing its facial recognition products completely to Microsoft holding off on offering these products to police until governing legislation is passed.
The ethics of such technology has been drawing questions as skewed datasets limit the efficacy rates for ethnically diverse subsets of the population. According to a recent study conducted by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), false positive rates (the erroneous association of samples of two persons) are highest in West and East African and East Asian people, and lowest in Eastern European individuals. In other words, the technology is more effective in identifying differences in facial features for Caucasians than it is for people of color.
In addition to the efficacy issues of the technology, the use of facial recognition is no stranger to controversy in use. In 2016, Baltimore City Police used the technology to identify persons present for the protest in the Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray. The identified individuals were then targeted for arrest for unrelated causes following the protests.
As the conversation continues to evolve in how society and law enforcement operates, this is an important time to step back and think. We must reevaluate the path we are heading down with facial recognition and must establish standards for its use. What are your thoughts?
About Schneider Downs Cybersecurity
The Schneider Downs cybersecurity practice consists of experts in multiple technical domains. We offer a comprehensive set of information technology security services, including penetration testing, intrusion prevention/detection review, vulnerability assessments and a robust digital forensics and incident response team, who are available around-the-clock at 1-800-993-8937 if you suspect your organization is experiencing a network incident.
You’ve heard our thoughts… We’d like to hear yours
The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at [email protected].
Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.
Learn more about how private colleges and universities tackled the Coronavirus pandemic and maintained consistent operating cash flow margins consistent with years prior and how federal aid to many colleges and universities helped boost performance amid the decline in fiscal 2020 operating revenues. ...