Facial-Recognition Technology: Closer to Utopia Than Dystopia

A screen advertises facial-recognition software at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing, China, April 27, 2018. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)
With the proper safeguards, it can help law enforcement catch criminals.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W e’ve all heard the stories: Authorities have installed cameras operating facial-recognition technology everywhere — on street corners, in shopping malls, even in office buildings. The software behind it is biased, generating high rates of false-positive matches, particularly for minorities. And law enforcement is using those matches, even false ones, to prosecute and imprison innocent people.

Does this sound like a dystopian nightmare, perhaps something that would be imposed on the Uyghurs in China? In fact, this is the image that the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), and a host of other alarmists are attempting to conjure in the minds …

Robert D. Atkinson — Mr. Atkinson is the president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and a co-author, with Michael Lind, of Big Is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business.


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