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Facial Recognition Technology: Adoption & Insights – World Over

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The storage of people’s digital images has become an essential part of our lives. As the technology that makes this possible continues to improve, adoption among different populations will grow.
Similarly, most people are aware of the benefits of being able to keep tabs on their loved ones without alerting them to every movement. The ability to do this not only prevents potential harm but also increases the likelihood of successful reunions.
This is especially true when it comes to adoption of facial recognition technology – world over. While some countries are slow to adopt new technologies, others take them a few steps too far by implementing measures which hinder adoption.
For example, China has made it difficult for companies and service providers wanting to use AI and other advanced technologies, such as voice recognition and face detection software.
Surveys conducted by Smith (2019) at Pew Research, the Center for Data Innovation and the Ada Lovelace Institute (2019) looked into people’s trust in law enforcement agencies using FRT.
Sovantharith Seng, Mahdi Nasrullah Al-Ameen, and Matthew Wright found a major gap in understanding people’s perceptions of the use of FR in everyday life. So, Sovantharithet al published their survey findings in paper‘ A First Look into Users’ Perceptions of Facial Recognition in the Physical World’
Their analysis revealed a mix of concerns and hope about this technology. Participants have a clear idea about their preferences for Face Recognition Tech-based identification, authentication, tracking, and services & they reported their individuality& autonomy be compromised without consent.
In the survey participants reported about perceived benefits with various use cases too. For example:
  • For unlocking personal devices, participants prefer to use FRT as a standalone authentication method instead of using it as a two-factor authentication technique along with entering passwords.
  • Participants perceive that FRT would be useful for identification (with physical ID card or not) to receive in-person service at a financial institution.
  • Participants have a preference for FRT use based on location and purpose, where they reported less comfort with FRT used to show targeted ads at a gas station than FRT used to offer personalized service in a library.
  • Participants found FRT to be more useful and comfortable with tracking in public gathering when the reasons for tracking (e.g., public safety and law enforcement) were explained to them.
The researchers after the survey opined that the use cases be considered individually in context whetted by government agencies. However, today, as we see ahead with support from governments and organizations worldwide, adoption have increased steadily day by day with more unique cases.
facial recognition technology
What is facial recognition technology?
Facial recognition technology is an AI system that uses digital photos, videos and other visual content to create a high-quality image of a person.
The technology can be used to identify individuals and verify identities at stores, restaurants, airports, and other public places. It can also be used to provide security at facilities, like Guest Centres and theme parks.
The facial recognition world map
As facial recognition technology develops, it will become more widespread in the world. China is the dominant market for facial recognition software, but it is also the most restrictive.
Japan and South Korea have also made strides in adoption. Currently, facial recognition exists only in a software form, but researchers are working to scale the technology up for use in live-action.
All the buses in Kazakistan, Face will be treated as ticket.
Adoption in Europe:
map of europe
Image: Surfshark
According tohttps://www.biometricupdate.com/202205Two new reports in EU aim to establish the status quo of the use of facial recognition in Europe in public places and by law enforcement.
These reports seek to explore the nuances of the technology and its application, one report is to guidance to inform European lawmakers and another report is to bring more examples and uses cases.
There are calls for the AI Act to ban the technology for remote identification in public places, while analysis by the Ada Lovelace Institute suggests that any ban could in fact reduce protections against biometric surveillance.
In 2005 the first edition of Prüm was signed by seven European countries—Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Austria and it allowed nations to share data to tackle international crime.
Other European countries like Russia used Facial recognition technology for Covid’s quarantine breaches while Turkey is using FRT in drones,  
In the UK, schools are using the technology to make lunch lines faster; in Moscow, “Face Pay” now allows you to ride the subway (https://www.jtl.columbia.edu/bulletin-blog)
But even with so much apprehension, 26European countries still use it
China’s stance on AI
One of the most vocal proponents of AI and facial recognition technology is China. The country has actively worked to create a regime that provides favorable regulatory environments for AI and other advanced technologies.
It has also taken steps to ensure that the industry is not misused. For example, the requirement that facial recognition technology be used “for legitimate purposes” has been broadened to include law enforcement and public security.
Furthermore, the standardization of face recognition technology across the country has created a more consistent standard of digital identification across the nation.
map of east asia nd oceania
Image: Surfshark
Japan bans face detection
While facial recognition technology is relatively new, it has also sparked controversy in Japan. In late2016 and early 2017, there was widespread debate in the media about the safety of facial recognition technology.
Some of the concerns revolved around the accuracy of the technology, particularly in face conditions that are hard to determine from digital photos. Others focused on the privacy implications of facial recognition, particularly in cases where it is used to monitor social interaction and target ads.
As a result of these debates and the country’s recent history with facial recognition, Japan has banned face detection. The move has been widely welcomed by AI developers and researchers around the world, who see it as a positive sign.
As soon as the ban is lifted, software developers will have an easier time bringing facial recognition to market.
South Korea bans voice recognition
In South Korea, the debate around facial recognition technology is even more heated. The country has long had a strict policy of prohibiting the use of machines that can recognize and identify individuals.
This has led to large-scale adoption of facial recognition technology in countries which use the technology, like Japan and China. However, in South Korea, the debate around facial recognition technology focuses on the effect of allowing the technology to be used for more mundane tasks, like issuing travel tips.
The main argument against allowing facial recognition technology to be used for more routine tasks is privacy. However, the country has a history with face recognition, having required the printing of personal identification cards in the 1980s.
map of north america
Image: Surfshark
Pam Greenberg wrote in NCSL that many Americans appreciate the convenience and security facial recognition technology offers. They are worried about companies and the government collecting personal data.
While in a survey of 2019 Americans said they trusted law enforcement to use facial recognition responsibly, recent events may have altered those perceptions for some. So, FRT acceptance is increasing in American market.
Brazil has immensely used this tech for tackle criminals. Brazil Interpol caught second most wanted criminal with the help of this technology.
map of south america
Image: Surfshark
map of middle east nd centeal asia
Image: Surfshark
UAE bought smart glasses to scan the crowd for various purposes. FRT may be used by Dubai Police in Law enforcement.
Israel, in the Arab world, keeping eye on West Bank with help of FRT.
map of east asia nd oceania
Image: Surfshark
map of africa
Image: Surfshark
China is helping Kenya &Uganda in implementing Telecommunication and Surveillance technology there by benefitting FRT.
According Paul Bischoff Survey
The top 10 countries with the most widespread have invasive use of facial recognition
In his survey, each country was scored out of 40, with higher scores indicating no or less invasive use of FRT and lower scores highlighting more widespread and invasive use. The following countries received the lowest scores:
  • China = 5 out of 40: China tops the list with it being frequently     quoted as the largest purveyor of facial recognition technology. Its     government and police use the technology extensively and often with     invasive surveillance tactics.

    Some seven men from the city of Suzhou were publicly shamed for wearing pajamas in pajamas. They used the technology , FRT to identify them, the city then published the images on its WeChat account. 

    In another instance one Chinese park even used FRT to prevent people from stealing toilet paper. Schools are using this tech how attentive they are. If the children appear unfocused, this is then reflected in their grades.
  • Russia = 9 out of 40: Recently, protestors were rumored to be  identified and detained through FRT ahead of the demonstrations over the jailing of Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny. Russia used this tech for quarantine breaches too.
  • The United Arab Emirates = 10 out of 40: UAE is rolling out facial recognition across many areas to help “speed up processes” and “eliminate fraud.” UAE using the technology to gain access to government services to registering attendance at schools. The police in Abu Dhabi have also had their patrol cars upgraded to include FRT in a bid to help them identify “suspicious and wanted people.”
  • Japan, India, and Chile = 12 out of 40:  Japan’s use of facial recognition alongside citizens’ social media accounts to track down criminals. The National Public Safety Commission (NPC), which is in charge of storing the facial images of around 10 million Japanese citizens, also provided the police access to this database so they could use it with the FRT.

    In Chile, the majority of citizens will have electronic identity cards that utilize facial recognition by 2022.

    And in India, there are around 16 different FRT systems in use within Central and State governments, with a further 17 in progress. Govt of India is contemplating to link FRT with Aadhar System. There was case study of FRT using in boarding pass that was shelved because of undefined compliance.
  • Australia and Brazil = 13 out of 40: When it was found that Australian   police using the controversial facial recognition technology from     Clearview (which used social media images to create its database) they stopped. Victoria police have stopped using Clearview.  

    Even though the use of FRT by the government and police isn’t as widespread in Brazil, it is on the rise. And the technology is already widely implemented in schools and public transport. Brazil caught one of Interpol’s wanted criminal thru FRT.
  • Argentina = 16 out of 40: In Buenos Aires, reports suggested that FRT didn’t recognized the faces with the stored data that included juvenile  suspects. As such there were wrongful detection , many cases of Mistaken Identity through the real time system of FRT.

    FRT is also in most other areas within Argentina (aside from buses and schools).
  • France, Hungary, Malaysia, and the United     Kingdom = 17 out of 40: All four of these countries have facial recognition technologies     within every category bar one.

    France, the UK, and Hungary have no known FRT in schools while Malaysia appears not to have installed FRT on buses. All also have wide spread or growing use of FRT in the government, police, banking, and within airports, with the tech also growing across public transport systems.

    In early 2020, the French High Court did rule that FRT shouldn’t be used in high schools.
  • Mexico and the United States = 18 out of  40: At present, there is no known facial recognition technology within schools in Mexico.

    But systems have been proposed for buses. There is, however, growing use of this technology within the US.
  • Romania, Spain, and Taiwan = 19 out of 40: Each of these  countries using facial     recognition technology in most areas but all have different areas that  remain untouched by the tech at present. For example, Romanian public transport systems, Spanish schools, and Taiwanese buses don’t appear to have FRT.
  • Kazakhstan, Sweden, Thailand, and South Africa     = 20 out of 40: In   most cases, these countries have varying degrees of FRT in each category.  But in Sweden, facial recognition technology has been banned in schools. The countries’ scores by category in the table below.
Total score
score(inc. COVID Score)
Govt
Police
Airport
Schools
Banks/ Finance
Work Place
Russian Federation
9
10
1
0
1
1
1
United Arab Emirates
10
11
1
1
1
1
1
Brazil
13
15
3
2
1
1
1
Romania
19
21
1
2
1
1
1
Nigeria
25
30
1
5
1
1
1
Chile
12
13
1
1
2
2
1
Total score
score(inc. COVID Score)
Govt
Police
Airport
Schools
Banks/ Finance
Work Place
India
12
13
1
1
2
2
1
Japan
12
14
1
0
1
2
1
Malaysia
17
19
1
2
1
2
1
Taiwan
19
20
2
1
1
2
1
Thailand
20
22
1
2
2
2
1
Canada
21
23
3
1
1
2
1
Italy
21
23
2
1
2
2
1
Australia
13
14
1
1
1
3
1
Total score
score(inc. COVID Score)
Govt
Police
Airport
Schools
Banks/ Finance
Work Place
United States of America
18
20
2
2
1
3
1
South Africa
20
22
1
2
2
3
2
Germany
23
25
2
2
1
3
2
Uzbekistan
25
30
2
1
2
3
5
Kazakhstan
20
22
2
2
3
4
1
Table: Comparitech Get the data Created with Datawrapper
Key findings were:
Of the 99 countries surveyed, George Moody found following data:
  • Only 6 countries had no evidence of facial  recognition use. But, this is likely due to budgets/lack of technology as opposed to strict legislation/opposition to the technology
  • Only two countries in the world are known to have banned facial recognition – Belgium and Luxembourg (not included in survey).
  • Morocco’s recent moratorium ended in December 2020 and evidence of the technology being introduced in cities is already appearing
  • 7 in 10 governments are using FRT on a large-scale basis
  • 70 percent of police forces & Law enforcement have access to some form of the technology
  • 60 percent of countries have facial recognition in some airports
  • Nearly 20 percent of countries have facial recognition in some schools
  • Almost 80 percent of countries are using FRT within some of their banking/financial institutions
  • Around 40 percent of countries have implemented FRT within some workplaces
  • 20 percent of countries have FRT on some buses while 30 percent have it on some trains/subways
  • Over 40 percent of countries are using facial recognition in some form to try and track, monitor, or reduce the transmission of COVID-19
Police forces access to some form of FRT
As stated above, nearly 70 percent of police forces globally have access to some form of FRT.
Five countries–China, Russia, Japan, Argentina, and Belarus–have invasive police use of FRT, as seen in survey of top 10 analysis. The majority of countries where police have no access to FRT are located in Africa.
However, many countries with the concept of Smart Cities will have access to the technology and/or Safe City schemes being implemented, many of these police forces may be granted access to the technology in the near future.
Summary
Facial recognition technology is a relatively new technology, but it is already finding wide adoption.  FRT is becoming a part of our everyday life, where the public discussion on privacy and security are undergoing a stage of evolution. With support from governments and organizations worldwide, adoption will continue to grow.
In a above-stated survey, users have a clear say about the contexts where they are willing to use FRT or not, which should be carefully considered by the government agencies and business entities while building a legislation or making a decision to expand or regulate the use of FRT.
As facial recognition technology develops ( liveliness recognizing capability), it will become more widespread in the world.
With all the hiccups, still the technology is getting accepted. As recognition percentage is going up, reaching as much as 99%, the day is not far when this technology will adopted with all the necessary compliance. As facial recognition technology becomes more widespread, it will bring benefits to people in various ways, including the ability to keep tabs on loved ones without waking them up. When the maturity level reached the dimension to go is to recognize or analyze behavior/mood pattern, till then Smile, you are on TV!!

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