Facial Recognition: The Future Of Security

July 18th, 2019

We’ve come a long way from the only means of security being locked doors and security guards. Today biometrics control locks, alarms protect windows, and the security camera is the all-seeing eye that never blinks, never takes a break, and, unlike fallible human memory, remembers everything with photographic accuracy.

Now there’s a new tool being added to the security arsenal, and, when paired existing surveillance equipment like security cameras, it can change the way properties are protected. It’s called facial recognition technology, and it raises new possibilities and new questions.

How It Works

As the name implies, facial recognition technology is a mechanism that is designed to scan and recognize faces. We’ve already seen some rudimentary, simpler examples of this at work for the general public. Many smartphones now use facial recognition as a form of biometric access. That is, a camera on the phone looks at the face of the person holding the phone and runs a comparison of that with a reference photo taken by the actual owner of the phone.

If the face viewed by the camera matches the reference photo, then access is granted. This same technology is now being applied to other forms of access control, such as doors. Biometrics has one advantage that keycards and numeric codes lack, in that fingerprints, eyes and faces can’t be lost or forgotten.

The Larger Scale

Now, facial recognition technology is being gradually implemented on a much more ambitious level. It requires the usage of higher quality cameras, with sharp resolution, such as the new “4K” standard, the but the results are undeniable, as it means these new HD/4K security cameras capture much more precise detail about the people pass through their field of view, and that greatly aids facial recognition technology

Through the use of algorithms and “machine learning,” facial recognition technology goes a step beyond the phone or biometric verification, to scan faces at any angle, and extrapolate that face with an existing database. The sheer volume of faces that pass by the average surveillance camera on any given day means an enormous amount of computational resources are required.

The Implications

On the one hand, this type of technology has enormous benefits for law enforcement. With a wide enough “net” of security cameras enabled with facial recognition, it would be difficult for criminals to avoid being recognized and appropriate law enforcement groups notified. This makes investigation that much faster when a person is being sought for arrest, and can even severely limit where a criminal can go.

On the other hand, there is the ever-present risk of privacy invasion. Without proper security and controls, this type of technology can also be criminally abused. Imagine a hacker stalking a woman or child, using hacked facial recognition technology to track the movements of their prey until it’s time to strike.

Facial recognition technology is a double-edged sword. If you’d like to know more about it, and other security mechanisms that can make your property safer, contact North MO Satellite & Security. We’ll be happy to help you with your security concerns and needs.