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Facial Recognition In Security Monitoring

Alex Flitton
Sep 28, 2018 8:05:00 AM

What Is Facial Recognition Technology?

Facial recognition is technology uses existing images or video in order to make an identification connection. It can be used to analyze previous events, and to identify and approve someone entering a restricted location. Facial recognition technology has been featured in Hollywood films and is now being implemented in computers, on street corners and even in access-controlled buildings.

How Does Facial Recognition Help With Security Monitoring?

Facial recognition, when paired with artificial intelligence, has the potential to provide a full range of security features for the entire supply chain, from the monitoring center, the local police department and even the end user. The future of video security is looking bright, but there are a few kinks that need to be sorted out first.

The primary benefits that facial recognition technology provides are:

  1. Eliminated Manual Verification Time
  2. Reduced False Alarms
  3. More Effective Detection Capabilities
  4. Perpetrator Tracking And Predictive Route Generation

Eliminated Manual Verification Time

Instead of hiring a single person to personally monitor 10-15 video feeds at the same time, Artificial intelligence can be applied in conjunction with facial recognition software to simultaneously monitor an unlimited number of video feeds. It can be programmed to identify predetermined behaviors like violence, drug use, burglary, and many others. 

In uniquely regulated businesses, like cannabis dispensaries, facial recognition could be an effective addon to an existing video security system. 

Reduced False Alarms

False alarms are an epidemic in the security industry. Much like facial recognition is now used to grant access to smartphones, it can be used as a key for the front door of a living space or business. Therefore, when someone enters a home, the homeowner can receive a mobile notification when someone enters, or tries to enter their home. Furthermore, if in the situation that someone without a key needs to enter a home, they can get remote access simply by pushing the doorbell. Remote verification that is handled by the homeowner reduces the amount of time an operator must spend to determine the status of a situation when an alarm goes off. 

More Effective Detection Capabilities

And furthermore, security cameras enabled by artificial intelligence and facial recognition can better recognize if movement is caused by someone attempting to intrude, or if it's simply a couple of racoons sneaking to the backyard to steal the dog’s food.

Perpetrator Tracking And Predictive Route Generation

When security cameras are implemented on a law enforcement level, they could be used to track someone who was detected to have broken a law. So, if a burglar enters a home, is recognized by a city camera and the facial recognition technology recognizes that same person as they travel through an area, the technology can demonstrate their last known position and even predict where they will go next.

What Are The Drawbacks of Facial Recognition Technology?

Facial recognition technology has several ethical issues that need to be sorted out before it is implemented on a mass scale. Apart from basic privacy issues, the problem of over-policing could create overbearing worries for basic, law-abiding citizens, akin to Big Brother of the dystopian novel, 1984. While facial recognition provides several benefits, it is easy to see how it could be abused if not regulated in some fashion.

How To Responsibly Implement Facial Recognition Technology

When full-body scanners were first implemented in airports, the public was overwhelmed with fear that their naked bodies would be eagerly scanned by a prying TSA agent. Upon the public outcry, the technology quickly advanced to merely indicate where objects would be found without delivering detailed images of non-public body parts. Although I don’t have all the philosophical answers for how facial recognition should be ethically implemented, perhaps a similar approach to the full-body scanner can be implemented in facial recognition technology.

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