Over the last decade, computers have become better at seeing faces. Software can tell if a camera has a face in its frame of vision, and law enforcement has been testing facial-recognition programs that can supposedly pick out suspects in a crowd.
That's prompted an arms race between the people who build facial-recognition systems — and those seeking ways to defeat them.
|A model wearing Adam Harvey's 'dazzle' makeup in a way that fools facial-recognition software.|
CREDIT: Courtesy Adam Harvey/ahprojects.com/DIS Magazine
Facial-recognition software is becoming a bigger issue for privacy advocates as well. Surveillance cameras are already ubiquitous in the U.K., are showing up in more places in the U.S. and may increasingly be connected to facial-recognition systems.
"I went to a Kinko's a while ago," said Alex Kilpatrick, chief technology officer and co-founder of Tactical Information Systems, a company in Austin, Texas, that sells facial-recognition software to law enforcement and the military. "I saw three cameras just while I was standing in line.
You see them in all kinds of places now."The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has said it is deeply concerned with the way facial-recognition systems are used. Police use such systems to flag criminals in public places, the ACLU says, but it argues that the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) use of the technology in Boston's Logan Airport and in T.F. Green Airport near Providence, R.I., doesn't seem to have helped catch any criminals or terrorists.
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