Facial recognition could help speed you through airport security. It could also threaten your civil liberties, experts say

The technology is already being used by the TSA, the FBI and police as a security tool. But critics have raised concerns about the potential for it to threaten privacy and free speech.

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  • reriding Salt Lake City, UT
    June 15, 2019 8:26 p.m.

    Not too long ago the suggestion of a National ID card was cursed by many of not most citizens. Now, the REAL ID Act forces states to put our information into databases, which the states must share domestically and internationally. Now DHS is suggesting RFID chips be embedded in ID cards to make them remotely readable, and Facial Recognition adds another way to keep track of us. This month marks the 70th anniversary of the publication of 1984, and Big Brother is definitely watching.

  • mrjj69 Bountiful, UT
    June 13, 2019 11:18 p.m.

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
    Benjamin Franklin.

  • Pig Frizzle Tremonton, UT
    June 12, 2019 1:01 p.m.

    @ IJ - Hyrum, Ut - “... what's the difference with FR? Only guilty persons need worry, and worry they should.”

    You need to watch a BBC report, on a ‘tube’ place, that shows an innocent man walking on the street past a FR police van. He is detained, questioned & given a ticket for ‘not showing his face’ ... he had no criminal history!

    But only the guilty should worry ... I guess that depends on who thinks you’re guilty.

  • bill4570 ,
    June 12, 2019 8:04 a.m.

    Too much "Big Brother" for anyone. In our knee jerk reaction to terrorism we are getting to a point where the cure is perhaps worse than the fear of the disease.

    So then again our fears are making us foolish.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    June 12, 2019 7:43 a.m.

    Lilly - are we saying that DNA should not be used to implicate people in a crime? Are we saying that DNA is not that accurate after all? Science never ceases to amze me.

    "The technology could have a “chilling effect” on protests, as people may be less likely to march along the streets if they believe cameras are tracking their whereabouts." In other words, they aren't really that committed to their cause.

    If you have nothing to hide there should be no concern. Many thousands of people have their DNA, photo, fignerprints, etc. taken by the government for employment purposes which could be used for other reasons at a judges request; what's the difference with FR? Only guilty persons need worry, and worry they should.

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    June 11, 2019 8:42 p.m.

    Remember that when you submit your DNA for analysis, those results are patently NOT accurate, only approximate. Only some of your billions of DNA markers are evaluated. Many studies have submitted the DNA of hundreds of identical twins and identical triplets, anonymously, to create an honest and accurate result. NONE of the so called "DNA profiles" relating to ancestry were in agreement. In the case of one set of identical triplets......they had almost nothing in common. One woman had roots in Scandinavia, while her identical sisters were "from" Africa and Asia.
    Imagine the mistakes that can, or already are, being made in criminal cases? Imagine the number of innocent people who could possibly be falsely implicated in crimes, just because another faulty and imperfect technology is assumed to be relevant to law enforcement? Thanks to the Innocence Project, we have already released hundreds of innocent (mostly black) men from life sentence, or even under death sentences, because they were incorrectly and falsely convicted.

    June 11, 2019 8:38 p.m.

    China leads the world in facial recognition technology and use. China already has several years of going beyond surveillance and into behavior modification. In 2018 over 12 million airplane and train tickets were automatically denied to Chinese citizens and the new Social Credit system includes public shaming with transaction denial.

    The system will automatically raise or lower your Social Credit by observing driving habits, smoking in non-smoking zones, buying too many video games, wasting money on frivolous purchases, wasting too much time in online posting, posting fake news or criticizing the government, etc. The new punishments included in 2019 include throttling Internet access speed, being banned from the best hotels, schools and jobs, being denied the ability to have a credit card and having your dog taken away from you (if you or your dog behaves badly).

    Just a small taste of where this could go in the U.S.

  • dski Herriman, UT
    June 11, 2019 7:07 p.m.

    Convenience must not be allowed to chip away at our liberty. Let law enforcement work to make sure we're safe and we cannot open the door for them to limit our privacy.

  • T-money$$$ Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2019 4:04 p.m.

    Unreasonable search and seizure- it's in the constitution!

    I'm all for data scientists using tech to help speed up societal advances (I am a progressive, after-all ;) But lets keep that data in the hands of the tech companies and out of the hands of law enforcement (unless a very specific judge-issued warrant or subpoena demands it). Sometime within the last few decades our police and security enforcement has gone from keeping the public safe and protected to actively issuing citations and imprisoning at-risk populations in order to keep them in the justice system. Facial recognition tools in the hands of law enforcement would only exacerbate this trend.

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    June 11, 2019 4:02 p.m.

    How about this, give each individual the option to choose whether to go through the security check or not. Once the person goes through the check if they endanger or prey on the public the ACLU or other agency that objects to the security review voluntarily will pay those hurt by the bad guy!!

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    June 11, 2019 3:20 p.m.

    "the potential for it to threaten privacy and free speech."

    Just "potential?" This absolutely threatens anyone who does not go along with the prevailing political agenda.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 11, 2019 1:50 p.m.

    "Such concerns aren’t merely theoretical. There have already been mistakes leading to the arrest of innocent people because of the technology."

    Oh give it a rest already!

    Guess what? There are innocent people getting arrested all the time without this technology too! That's why we have these wonderful things called "trials" and "courts", so that when the wrong person gets arrested, we can determine if it really was the wrong person.

    This is not infringing on your civil liberties any more than any screening or law enforcement system already is, and actually probably less so.

  • Pig Frizzle Tremonton, UT
    June 11, 2019 1:49 p.m.

    “Facial recognition could help speed you through airport security. It could also threaten your civil liberties, experts say” ... umm, it DOES threaten your civil liberties.

    When you go to an airport you lose your 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th Constitutional ‘guaranteed’ rights & the feeling of not being in 1940’s Germany ... but don’t fret, it is all in the name of ‘Security’ ...

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin