Closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) are among the most common surveillance devices available to public and private entities. While the basic elements of a CCTV system have not changed, it is imperative to note that modernization of CCTV systems has resulted in the availability of a wide-variety of system modifications or perks –from facial recognition software to automated surveillance programs.
Facial Recognition/ Biometrics: Biometrics is a security oriented system of identifying individuals through analysis of nodal features of the face, fingerprint, retina, or other characteristically unique feature of the human body. New electronic applications use biometrics for a variety of reasons.
For example, Findface is a novel smart-phone based application recently introduced to the consumer base of Russia. This biometric analysis application allows users to identify, with up to 70% accuracy, the identity of a randomly selected individual through cross-comparison of a single photo of the target with information derived from social media.
As noted by Marketwatch, this application is already creating quite the controversy as users vanquish anonymity of virtually anyone, from porn-stars to strangers on the sub-way. But Findface isn’t the only decimator of anonymity. As far back as 2008 patents have been issued to Microsoft for automated advertisements similar to those out of the sci-fi thriller Minority Report. One such patent details a modality of targeting customers according to individual profiles which have been derived from information compiled by a display: “A variety of sensors and sensing systems (e.g., face recognition, pattern recognition, proximity sensors, audio sensors, light sensors, and transaction recognition) can be employed to glean as much information as possible about a potential customer or group of customers within close proximity to a particular display device.”
A more recent patent (2015) issued to Socure Inc. employs facial recognition systems for the deterrence of identity theft. It incorporates the storing of user identity images in a database which will then be used for cross-comparison “against at least a portion of image data stored in at least one database” for authentication purposes. In other words, once you input images to the database, chances are they stay there permanently.
As many are now aware, the popular social media platform Facebook has also been issued patent rights for facial recognition systems that sift though user uploaded photos and video for indexing purposes. The indexed images will then serve cross-reference checks for identity verification in the future: “In particular embodiments, a user may capture photos and/or video that includes real-time facial recognition with respect to the people in their social network. As each image in a video clip or a set of related images is processed, faces are detected and tracked. For a given face in an image, different potential candidates for identification of the face are selected (if available) from the user’s social network.”
Other patents, such as one issued to Honeywell International Inc. (2012) detail the act of capturing images of an individual and subsequently identifying that individual with adept software in real-time.
To be continued…