What is Facial Recognition Technology (FRT)?

What is Facial Recognition Technology (FRT)?

Facial recognition technology (FRT) is a type of biometric technology that uses algorithms to identify and authenticate individuals based on their unique facial features. It can work with images or video feeds, such as those from CCTV cameras, and can be used in a variety of applications, including security, access control, and marketing.

One of the primary uses of FRT is to identify individuals in a specific location or setting. For example, scOS uses FRT to recognise family members for personalisation, recognise familiar faces like your post person or to identify a known criminal who could be a threat to your family. This type of application is often used in access control systems, such as those used in airports, government buildings, or other secure locations.

Facial Recognition Technology works by analysing a person's facial features, such as the distance between the eyes, the shape of the jawline, and the contours of the face. It then compares these features to a database of existing images or known individuals to identify a match. The accuracy of the technology depends on several factors, including the quality of the image, the lighting conditions, and the algorithm used to analyse the facial features.

However, there are also concerns about the use of FRT, particularly around issues of privacy and surveillance. Some critics argue that the technology can be biased or inaccurate, leading to false identifications and potential violations of civil liberties. Others worry that FRT could be used for mass surveillance or profiling, particularly in authoritarian regimes.

As with any technology, it is important to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of Facial Recognition and to weigh these against ethical and legal considerations. In some cases, FRT may be a valuable tool for enhancing security and convenience, but it is also important to ensure that it is used in a responsible and ethical manner.

scOS is an organisation that uses Facial Recognition Technology as one of its "senses". To read more about our ethics, please view our Data Ethics Zone.