Why do we oppose facial recognition?
is an unsafe and risky technology
The implementation of a facial recognition system implies the collection and processing of highly sensitive data. The human face is part of what’s called “biometric data”, a category that includes any data that refer to the body as an identifier. This type of data is particularly delicate, due to the difficulty implied in attempting to change it. The implicit risk of facial recognition systems is the breach of databases, which means stripping every affected person of the possibility to control their own bodies and selves.
is a disproportionate technology
Facial recognition is a highly intrusive technology based on the collection and storage of a very intimate data: our facial features. If used for the surveillance of public spaces, it implies the massive and indiscriminate collection of deeply sensitive data and allows the creation of detailed profiles of everyone’s daily routines. If used as an identifier – for example, in a governmental procedure or the management of social benefits-- it can be easily replaced by less invasive and harmful methods and should be avoided.
is a discriminatory and unreliable technology
Facial recognition technology has been widely questioned due to the high rates of false positives it provides. The problem increases dramatically when the people who are being surveilled belong to vulnerable groups, such as women, people of color, and trans and queer people. Thus, the implementation of facial recognition systems implies a technical reproduction of social inequalities and – when used for surveillance purposes -- it threatens the rights to dignity, due process and presumption of innocence.
is a totalitarian technology
Especially when used for surveillance of public spaces and fighting common crime. It erodes the autonomy of people, to favor a system that seeks absolute control through the technical management of identities, reproducing inequalities and exclusions that have historically put non-hegemonic communities at a disadvantage.