ABOUT 15,000 people have had images of their faces captured on an Australian Federal Police database in its first year of operation, igniting fears that the rise of facial recognition systems will lead to CCTV cameras being installed on every street corner.
The database includes pictures of alleged criminals who may not know their images are on file.
The AFP say facial recognition may eventually be considered as credible as fingerprints, but images on their database are not being shared with state police forces. Sharing images on a national database could be possible by 2015.
The president of Australian Councils for Civil Liberties, Terry O’Gorman, said it was troubling that technologies such as facial and number plate recognition had become so widespread and there appeared to be no independent monitoring of the impacts on privacy.
The justification for widespread CCTV has also been questioned, with a report by police in London, the most spied-upon city in the world, showing that only one crime was solved per 1000 cameras.
An AFP forensic and data centres biometrics co-ordinator, Simon Walsh, said international agencies were Read more…
A public workshop held in December – “Face Facts: A Forum on Facial Recognition Technology” – focused on the current and future commercial applications of facial detection and recognition technologies, and explored an array of current uses of these technologies, possible future uses and benefits, and potential privacy and security concerns. (The agenda for the workshop can be found here, and an archived webcast of the proceedings is viewable here).
The deadline for filing comments is 31 January 2012.
FTC says that facial detection and recognition technologies have been adopted in a variety of new contexts, ranging from online social networks to Read more…
Once people realized that Facebook was basically harvesting biometric data, the usual uproar over the site’s relentless corrosion of privacy ensued. Germany even threatened to sue Facebook for violating German and EU data protection laws and a few other countries are investigating. But facial recognition technology is hardly confined to Facebook — and unlike the social networking site, there’s no “opt-out” of leaving your house.
Post-9/11, many airports and Read more…
As facial biometric technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous, IT experts warn that these systems can easily be abused and therefore require stringent privacy policies and data encryption.
In an interview with Information Security Media Group, Beth Givens, the founder and director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, cautioned that organizations using biometric facial solutions should encrypt their data.
“If they back up those applications with good, solid privacy policies and practices, they’ll be in good shape,” she said.
Givens explained that a major problem with facial recognition technology is the chance that Read more…
Face recognition software of the kind incorporated into biometric identification tools, photo-gallery applications and social media websites can be very useful but the technology raises privacy concerns, given the seeming ease with which faces in photos can now be tied to an individual. Researchers in Russia and Poland hope to take face recognition technology an important step forward with the even more powerful software they have developed.
Writing in the International Journal of Biometrics, Georgy Kukharev of Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University in Russia, and colleagues Paweł Forczmański and Andrzej Tujaka of the West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Poland, explain how Read more…
LONDON (AP) — Facial recognition technology being considered for London’s 2012 Games is getting a workout in the wake of Britain’s riots, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday, with officers feeding photographs of suspects through Scotland Yard’s newly updated face-matching program.
The official said that the Metropolitan Police’s sophisticated software was being used to help find those suspected of being involved in the worst unrest the force has faced in a generation, although he cautioned that police had a host of other strategies at their disposal.
“A lot of tools are being used to hunt down these criminals, and that’s just one of them,” the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about an ongoing investigation. “The issue is that you have to have a good picture of a suspect and it is only useful if you have something to match it against. In other words, the Read more…
The so-called “biometric” technology, which seems to take a page from TV shows like “MI-5″ or “CSI,” could improve speed and accuracy in some routine police work in the field. Dozens of police departments nationwide are gearing up to use a tech company’s already controversial iris- and facial-scanning device that slides over an iPhone and helps identify a person or track criminal suspects.
But its use has set off alarms with some people who are more concerned about possible civil liberties and privacy issues. Constitutional rights advocates are concerned, in part because the device can accurately scan an individual’s face from up to four feet away, potentially without a person’s being aware of it.
“This is (the technology) stepping out of the cruiser and riding on the officer’s belt, along with his flashlight, his handcuffs, his sidearm or the other myriad tools,” said John Birtwell, spokesman for the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department in southeastern Massachusetts, one of the first departments to use the devices.
“What we don’t want is for them to become a general surveillance tool, where the Read more…