Makerere University

Enter a keyword or two into the search box above and click search..

Facial Recognition VS Privacy

You are here

By Nsanzimana Gilbert  / June 19,2019


Facial recognition is a biometric software application capable of uniquely identifying or verifying a person.

Facial recognition is mostly used for security purposes, though there is increasing interest in other areas of use. In fact, facial recognition technology has received significant attention as it has potential for a wide range of application related to law enforcement as well as other enterprises.

A heated debate continues to rage about the legality of facial recognition software, which is increasingly being used by governments and law enforcement. Not to mention the number of private companies that use some kind of facial recognition.

Many people are concerned about facial recognition software being used to track their movements and the threat to civil liberties that this software poses. While this issue is being debated, there are steps you can take to avoid some facial recognition software, both online and in person.

Facial recognition technology creates many new benefits for society and should continue to be developed Its use, however, needs to be regulated to protect against acts of bias and discrimination, preserve consumer privacy, and uphold our basic democratic freedoms.

How it works.

Facial recognition works by analysing images from photos or videos. Software runs though millions of images to identify features related to human faces. These features can then be measured, such as the distance between a pair of eyes. This means the software is becoming more and more adept at not only recognizing faces in general, but also recognizing specific faces.

Reasons to be concerned about your privacy

Privacy matters. Privacy refers to any rights you have to control your personal information and how it’s used — and that can include your faceprint.

So, what are the issues? Here are some:

  • Security. Your facial data can be collected and stored, often without your permission. Its possible hackers could access and steal that data.
  • Prevalence. Facial recognition technology is becoming more widespread. That means your facial signature could end up in a lot of places. You probably won’t know who has access to it.
  • Ownership. You own your face — the one atop your neck — but your digital images are different. You may have given up your right to ownership when you signed up on a social media network. Or maybe someone tracks down images of you online and sells that data.
  • Safety. Facial recognition could lead to online harassment and stalking. How? For example, someone takes your picture on a subway or some other public place and uses facial recognition software to find out exactly who you are.
  • Mistaken identity. Say, for instance, law enforcement uses facial recognition to try to identify someone who robbed a corner store. Facial recognition systems may not be 100 percent accurate. What if the police think the suspect is you?
  • Basic freedoms. Government agencies and others could have the ability to track you. What you do and where you go might no longer be private. It could become impossible to remain anonymous.



more on how it works visit;