At a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent a year, face recognition is one of the fastest expanding markets in security technologies. The COVID-19 pandemic skyrocketed the importance and relevance of touch-free, frictionless experiences even further. Powered by this growth, face recognition technologies keep evolving, increasing their areas of use, accuracy, speed, and security.
Despite the numerous benefits and conveniences face recognition provides, it’s also among the most misunderstood modern technologies. Debates about this powerful application of biometric AI are often accompanied by myths and fiction.
While every new technology must be continuously studied and scrutinized for improvement and innovation, hereafter is some of the most popular myths about face recognition that have no factual base.
Myth #1: Face Recognition Isn’t Secure
Truth: Biometric facial recognition uses unique mathematical and dynamic patterns to analyze an incoming image multi-dimensionally. This makes face recognition much more effective and safe compared to other access and safety solutions such as keys or passwords.
In fact, face recognition is among the most powerful tools today to increase public safety and security. Its applications have been helping law enforcement authorities to fight crimes, including serious ones such as human trafficking and kidnapping.
For instance, in China, in 2020, facial recognition brought a man who was abducted as a toddler to his family 32 years after the crime occurred.
While no security solution is entirely invulnerable to hacking or spoofing, face recognition makes this a lot harder for attackers.
Myth #2: Face Recognition Invades Privacy
Truth: It’s understandable for millions of consumers to have privacy concerns when their faces are being scanned by a powerful AI tool. However, face recognition works by translating the visual data of faces into long strings of around 250 random numbers and letters.
Hence, a facial recognition tool merely matches a face with a new string of numbers and letters to a database of known numbers and letters rather than comparing it with other faces. No descriptive data on the face itself gets stored in the database, and all this information is encrypted.
On the other hand, it’s indisputable that facial recognition can be used for unethical purposes. However, it must be noted that this isn’t due to any fault within this technology but deliberate violations — which can still be conducted without this technology, or many others like it.
Myth #3: Face Recognition is Expensive and Hasslesome
Truth: Examining such a complex and potent AI technology, it might be easy to think face recognition is an expensive solution requiring special expertise to use. However, following all the breakthroughs in research and development, face recognition solutions are increasingly more accessible to mass markets.
More recent tools are much more user-friendly and don’t necessarily require high-performance processing or energy. Similarly, while earlier face recognition implementations might’ve needed a series of different poses to train the neural network effectively on a new user’s face, most up-to-date models have made it possible for users to have a completely frictionless experience.
With all the innovations and advancements in face recognition, which is still a relatively new technology, there’s no doubt that millions more people are poised to take advantage of the manifold benefits it has to offer.