Facial recognition systems are going to usher in a new age of total undeniability and repudiation

06/19/2015 - 00:00

Kirk Nankivell

Facial recognition systems are being slowly rolled out and utilized in many unique ways from tracking festival revelers to Sunday Church attendees to everyday shoppers.

Somewhere between 90,000-100,000 festival goers at the Download Festival in the UK have supposedly been scanned without their initial consent or knowledge.  Under the guise of trying to catch mobile phone thief's, Leicestershire Police attained massive amounts of facial data and state that "No one who came to the festival to enjoy themselves had anything to worry about..." and the "database was destroyed at the end of the event."

Nonetheless, we humans are an adaptable species.  There is also an organization called CV Dazzle that has tips and styles to avoid facial detection with a DIY approach.  Anonymous put out a video a few years back , but has since been refuted by Redditors as being ineffective with advances in camera technology.  Also, one could get a $1 URME paper surveillance mask or drop $500+ and become The Neighbor with a creepy realistic silicone mask.  

Unfortunately, this adaption of technology is not only invasive to privacy, but will also unequivocally usher in a new age of undeniability and repudiation.  Just recently, privacy advocates failed to come to positive conclusions and backed out after more than a year of negotiations on conduct for implementing facial recognition technology.

99.63% Accuracy

97.35% Accuracy

85% Accuracy

The undeniability aspect is quite simple, most of these systems have an extremely high accuracy rate with Google's algorithms claiming the top spot around 99.63%.  This tech will only continue to improve and increase statistical significance.  Without effective disguises, false identifications of scanned faces will be very unlikely and seemingly one day almost 100% accurate.

However, the repudiation factor of these types of Orwellian civilian tracking systems, will likely lead to protests, riots, etc. and increases in facial disguises as the public becomes truly aware.  It may be commonplace for the next generation of youngsters to continually alter their faces to avoid detection.