The Big Picture: Facial Recognition – Uses & Concerns


Facial recognition has become a cause for concern in western democracies. The European Commission is considering imposing a five-year moratorium on the use of facial recognition technologies in the European Union (EU). In the United States (US), municipalities have passed, or are considering passing prohibitions, India, however, is rushing to adopt public facial recognition. Facial recognition systems have been active at several major Indian airports, including the Delhi airport. These systems at airports have been installed under the DigiYatra initiative. Telangana’s election commission piloted a facial recognition app in its civic elections on January 22, and claimed that it could address the issue of voter impersonation. Facial recognition is a biometric technology that uses distinctive features on the face to identify and distinguish an individual. From the first cameras that could recognise faces in the mid-1960s up to now, facial recognition has evolved in many ways — from looking at 3D contours of a face to recognising skin patterns. With machine learning, the technology has become capable of sorting out types of faces.