Access and Feeds

Security: Privacy Rights versus Public Place Security Surveillance

By Dick Weisinger

Facial Recognition technology in public places has been banned in San Francisco. It’s somewhat ironic that one of the highest-density technology hubs would be the first place to put restrictions on the technology.

China, on the other hand, has embraced the use of facial recognition technology. The use of facial recognition in public places is widespread. The Chinese central government database has facial data on 2 billion people, including nearly all 1.4 billion of its citizens.

In the US, TSA has plans to roll out facial recognition, biometrics and video analytics to improve security at airports. TSA is promoting “whole airport security” with “curb-to-gate passenger analysis.”

Biometric technologies like facial recognition have the potential to provide better security but at the risk of intruding on individual privacy with surveillance.

Mark Zannoni, IDC research director for Smart Cities and Transportation, said that “as increasing amounts of data are collected, we are faced with the issue that one must exchange personal privacy for the use of publicly funded transportation networks or assets. Whether initially personally identifiable or anonymous, individual data from urban mobility can be deanonymized, which is not only invasive but also enables potentially dangerous situations. Data collectors and owners must assure the public of responsible data use, which will come to realization by the adoption of extensive data privacy protection laws or guidelines.”

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