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What Is Facial Recognition Technology?

Facial recognition technology has been a massive buzzword for a few years now. Some think of it as an exciting leap in technology, while other believe it is a breach of their privacy, or perhaps even an ethical ...

· facial recognition

Facial recognition technology has been a massive buzzword for a few years now. Some think of it as an exciting leap intechnology, while other believe it is a breach of their privacy, or perhaps even an ethical problem.    

What you think about facial recognition technology is complete up to you, but in this article, we will highlightsome of the most used places that facial recognition is used, and how it isable to benefit a plethora of different industries.   

What is facial recognition technology? 

Put simply, facial recognition is technology which uses biometrics to map out the distinctive features of a person’s face. This might be used in your smartphone, which is the application which is most commonly used by consumers, or by identifying matches in a database. Facial recognition is similar to fingerprints, in the manner that yourface is completely unique to you. The basics of facial recognition are:   

1. An image of your face is captured. 

2. Facial recognition software reads themost important geometrical points in your face, like the distance between your mouth, nose and eyes. This is known as your facial signature. 

3. Your facial signature is then compared using a database which has other faces. 

4. Depending on how it is used, your face can either be matched with another facial signature, or not.   

Who uses facial recognition? 

The simple answer is that basically everyone who has a smart phone that came out in the last 3 years. However, there are plenty of other places where facial recognition technology is used, even if you don’t have a recent smart phone or you decide to leave your device either unlocked or use passwords. So where is your face being traced?   


In the US, The Department of Homeland Security uses facial recognition to monitor people who are entering and leaving the country, identifying people who overstayed their visas, or have committed criminal activities.   

Universities and colleges 

Some large institutions use the technology to take rolls and make sure that people who are taking tests are the right person.   

Social media 

Social media platforms spot faces on images that you have uploaded, and provide suggestions for tags. This tool can now recognize people’s faces with an impressive 98% accuracy. Many apps now also have the ability to skip password logins by using facial recognition.   

Restricted areas and business entrances 

Many companies that have secure areas allow access to employees or visitors on a limited basis. These areas can be monitored so that they can record who is visiting these areas, and how long they are there for.   

Places of worship 

Churches and other religious spaces are now using facial recognition so that they can track people who are visiting their buildings. This is so that they can tailor donation requests, while providing an extra layer of security.   

Airline departure gates 

Some airlines now have ticketless boarding. You merely walk up to the gate and scan your face, while the airline matches your face with the ticket that you bought. This means that you no longer have to fumble with your boarding pass or mobile app.   

Retail stores 

Bigger stores and shopping malls now provide facial recognition with their CCTV cameras. This is done to identify suspicious characters and people who may shoplift.   


Marketing efforts take age, ethnicity, gender and location to create their campaigns. With facial recognition, they are able to gather this data by seeing you at an event.   

This list covers the majority of things that we as consumers do usually. However, just as these items are on our list it does not mean that your local grocery is gathering your data. This list merely highlights the places where this technology can be used.   

Facial recognition technology is a powerful tool which has the potential to increase the safety of the public, make ourlives easier, and make stuff like filters on social media viable. It is important that you understand how this technology works, and where it is used, so that you are able to make decisions as to where your data goes. 

Where you love or hate facial recognition is your choice, but it is vital that you understand exactly what it is, so that you can make solid decisions about how you use your devices, and also who you share your data with.   

Facial recognition technology is not going away, and you should expect to see it more and more in the near future. 

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