Facial recognition is for more than just unlocking iPhones.
Facial recognition has become our favorite way to unlock our phones, but many don’t realize the full scope of the technology and its capabilities. A type of biometric security, facial recognition is not only helpful in our personal lives, but also in crime prevention, government safety and more.
A 2022 report by PhotoAiD delves into the statistics and trends that define the current outlook of facial recognition technology (FRT). Not only does it go over the general expectations and capabilities of FRT, but it also gives a better insight into the overall view Americans have of the technology. Data indicates that 86% of Americans have heard of FRT in some capacity, 68% feel that it can make society safer, and only 30% feel it’s acceptable for workplaces to use FRT to monitor attendance.
It’s clear that Americans are on the fence about the usage of FRT in their personal lives, but when it comes to safety and security systems, that attitude changes a bit. Around seven out of ten U.S. adults think FRT can enhance security at places like jobs and schools. And 57% of Americans are comfortable having their image added to the database as long as it’s used for public safety. Given that 70% of police forces have access to some form of the technology, the report shows that FRT can be extremely helpful in cutting down on crime. INTERPOL’s facial recognition system, for example, includes images from over 179 countries, making this a global security database that continues to grow.
Woolf’s report values the facial recognition market at $3.8 billion in 2020, and projects an annual growth of 15.4% from 2021 to 2028. The report also notes that the technology is currently being used by seven out of ten governments worldwide, and that 97% of airports are expected to implement the technology by 2023 with the goal of making flying safer and cutting down on security wait times.
Given that it takes FRT just 2 seconds to analyze a person’s face, this technology will be extremely helpful in speeding up airport security lines. While about 60% of countries are currently using FRT in select airports, Customs and Border Control have already used the technology on over two million passengers on over 15,000 flights since adopting it. In the U.S., the technology has already been implemented in roughly 200 airports and 12 seaports, with that number only continuing to grow.
While the general public’s attitude towards facial recognition could be improved, the success of the technology in various arenas is overwhelming. As with every form of technology, there are risks of misuse and data breaches, so there may always be some hesitance in how FRT is used. And the public is perhaps always going to be leery of having their image and likeness in any sort of widely accessible database, anyway. That being said, when the technology can accomplish public safety, finding missing senior citizens with mental disabilities, tracking COVID-19 and other disease transmission, and accomplishing other goals for the common good, the reward might just outweigh the risk.