User privacy imposes limits on facial recognition technologies

Recently, Microsoft dropped a  database  with images and information from thousands of users. The company’s main argument for eliminating content was the fact that it cannot be fully guaranteed that the use made of such data is legal. However, there is no certainty that this data has been deleted from the network – they may be available elsewhere, even after deletion of the database, as online traces, given the difficulty in completely eliminating something from the network.

The technologies of  facial recognition  have evolved abruptly, mainly in recent years. However, the indiscriminate use of image banks raises debates about the boundaries between  technological  security and the right to privacy of users.

Some countries have already mobilized to rethink their laws and try to understand the risks of unregulated use of facial recognition technology. Last month, England held a   hearing in Congress  to discuss the matter. The expectation is that other audiences will happen addressing topics such as the use of technology, its growing deployment, technical flaws of the system, and also to formulate legislation aimed at addressing possible cases of violation of rights.

The City of San Francisco, in the United States, went beyond the restrictions policy: it is the first to ban the use  of facial recognition by public agencies. The measure raised questions about how much it would affect the city’s security system and could lead to setbacks. However, many people have come out in favor, arguing that the privacy of the city’s residents is also important.

Facial recognition may be just the beginning

Amazon, which is at the center of discussions about facial recognition systems, mainly because it has been accused of    selling   its surveillance technology, already shows signs of investing in another similar technology. According to an international news report, the company would be developing research based on data computed through 3D body scanning.

For this, Amazon would be recruiting volunteers through online ads and offering cards with values to be exchanged for products. Participants also need to sign confidentiality agreements on the experiments, which has increased the market’s curiosity about what kind of technology the company might launch with the search result.