The chipmaker Intel has now launched a facial recognition solution, which the company says will work with smart locks, access control, point-of-sale devices, ATMs and kiosks, among others. Called RealSense ID, the solution is built on Intel’s depth-sensing technology, a dedicated system-on-a-chip, with an embedded secure element to encrypt and process user data “quickly and safely”.
While Intel listed out all possible use cases of the facial recognition solutions, it did not specify if it would be offering this technology to law enforcement agencies, though it did say that it was “working to ensure the ethical application of RealSense and the protection of human rights”. The tech, Intel said, processes all facial images locally and encrypts all user data. The solution is also only activated through user awareness and will not authenticate unless prompted by a pre-registered user.
“In industries such as finance, healthcare and smart access control, companies need technology they can trust,” Intel said in a blog post. “Intel RealSense ID has built-in anti-spoofing technology to protect against false entry attempts using photographs, videos or masks, and provides a one-in-1-million false acceptance rate”. That accuracy claim appears too high, and it remains to be seen whether the system will exhibit such accuracy rates in real world scenarios.
Intel’s facial recognition tool comes amid debates about the technology’s biases and potential for harm, particularly against minorities and people of colour. Amazon’s facial recognition tool Rekognition, for instance, misidentified 28 members of Congress as criminals. Research, in general, has shown that facial recognition tools are worse at detecting and identify faces of darker-skinned people, creating ample room for discrimination and persecution.
Several major companies last year announced that they would temporarily halt sales of their facial recognition systems until new regulations are made to govern the use of the tech. Microsoft said that it will not sell the technology to police in the US until a federal law is enacted, with Amazon committing to the same thing, albeit just for a year. IBM said that it will stop offering “general-purpose facial recognition and analysis software” altogether.
India is deploying facial recognition systems left, right and centre
Multiple airports have added facial recognition systems as an additional way for passengers to board flights. Local police departments are purchasing or piloting facial recognition algorithms — for instance, the Vadodara city police piloted Clearview AI’s controversial facial recognition system. States like Telangana have piloted the tech in civic elections, and are mulling introducing the tool for obtaining rations at fair price shops.
Central Railway is also considering setting up similar facial recognition systems at some of its premises in Parel, we had earlier reported. Bengaluru’s railway station is gearing up to be surveilled by CCTV cameras capable of carrying out facial recognition, at a cost of over ₹4.5 crore.
Read more from our coverage related to facial recognition:
- Bangalore City railway station will soon have face recognition surveillance. It’s Orwellian and expensive
- CBSE now has a facial recognition tool and it’s problematic
- How Telangana is using the pandemic to push facial recognition tech on its population
- Interview: Telangana could soon use facial recognition authentication for ration distribution, says state’s IT secy Jayesh Ranjan
- India’s NCRB to test automated facial recognition system on ‘mask-wearing’ faces
- Exclusive: Concerns around number of active users, and ‘backdoors’ raised at an NCRB facial recognition meeting
- UIDAI, NPCI piloting face authentication for Aadhaar
- Central Railways to install facial recognition attendance systems at its premises