New report on facial recognition out now
There is an excellent new report on facial recognition now available for free download. The report is written by my one-time co-author on the subject, Lucas Introna of Lancaster University, and new Surveillance & Society advisory board member, Helen Nissenbaum of New York University.
The report is aimed primarily at people who developing policy on, or thinking of commissioning or even using facial recognition and therefore concentrates on the practical questions (does it work? what are its limitations?) however it does not neglect the moral and political issues of both overt and covert use. What is quite interesting for me is how little the technical problems with the systems have changed since Lucas and I wrote our piece back in 2004; the ability of facial recognition to work in real-world situations as opposed to controlled environments still appears limited by environmental and systemic variables like lighting, the size of the gallery of faces and so on.
The report is probably the best non-technical summary available and is perfect for non-specialists who want to understand what is the state-of-the-art in facial recognition and the range of issues associated with the technology. Very much recommended.