As we approach the end of 2021, facial recognition is more ubiquitous than ever. The technology has become an increasingly popular remote and in-person authentication option, especially as COVID-related health concerns have pushed people away from contact-based modalities like fingerprint recognition.
However, that rise has not been without some controversy. International lawmakers (and European lawmakers in particular) are finally starting to crack down on some of the more invasive applications of the technology, and in doing so have advanced a broader debate about the ethical implications of facial recognition. Privacy advocates all over the world are expressing their concerns about large-scale surveillance programs, and the potential for abuse that arises from biased facial recognition systems.
Clearview AI sits at the center of that storm. The company has continued to grow in 2021 despite pushback from other facial recognition developers, and despite the fact that several countries have now ruled that the company’s data collection practices violate their privacy laws.
That battle will carry over into 2022 as the legal environment takes shape, and as industry stakeholders work to make the public feel more comfortable with facial recognition technology. Some have pushed for a consent-based model, while others continue to promote more sweeping surveillance applications. Let us know where you stand in our Year in Review survey for 2021.
December 22, 2021 – by Eric Weiss
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