Facial recognition in airports and society / by kevin murray

There are now international flights in America, that provide what purports to be a benefit for passengers, which is that before boarding a plane, they provide their passport at the boarding gate, and then stand in front of a camera, for facial recognition, of which, this is said to allow boarding to be faster.  In reality, this isn’t true because stopping and then standing in front of a camera, as opposed to simply providing the documents that have already been vetted by airport security is pretty much going to be a waste of time.  What it is, though, is a simple and convenient way for the purveyors of facial recognition software to verify its veracity.

The thing about facial recognition, which unlike fingerprinting or even DNA testing, is that the government cannot readily tell who someone is when they are walking down a public street, if all they have are a fingerprint file and a DNA database.  Whereas, with facial recognition, alongside a comprehensive fingerprinting database, as well as a DNA database, the government pretty much has everything that they require in order to build up an incredible amount of actionable information on citizens; so that, the watchers see, hear, and know everything, whereas those that are watched know virtually nothing about those that watch them, except for their pronouncements that this is for their own good, as well as for the safety and security of the country.

If the citizens of this country do not have a right to privacy in the public sphere, and further do not have a right to be left alone or to be forgotten, then those citizens in an era of facial recognition, in addition to all the other endless reams of data that is being gathered about them; of which all of this is being correlated, analyzed, processed, and stored, then those citizens cannot possibly consider themselves to be free and liberated citizens but rather must be seen, as pretty much as a cattleman sees his cattle that are branded, which is, as his property, thereby for him to dispose of as appropriate, including the slaughterhouse.

It is one thing for citizens to use facial recognition to unlock their phone, or to unlock their house, or to enter their place of employment; it is an entirely different thing, though, when facial recognition is being used by the government or even private enterprise without some sort of vigorous and meaningful peer oversight.  In addition, it is one thing for any technology to be used for the benefits and security it provides and then have that history, pretty much wiped clean at the end of the day, as compared to the very same thing being done, but forever after being stored and controlled by an entity that answers to no one.

Those that are in either the business of unfairly exploiting people through advertising by virtue of knowing everything about them, or else in the business of having comprehensive actionable information which will allow that entity to compromise virtually anyone at any time for their sins or questionable acts, have aggrandized onto themselves god-like powers, without actually being impartial, just, and wholesome.  This signifies that the more invasion of privacy ceded to private enterprise or government overseers, then the more endangered that citizen’s freedom and liberty will be.