More facial recognition software leads to more privacy concerns

New Jersey residents who have privacy concerns in this heavily digital world may have another reason to worry as facial recognition software is being used more often. Stores can use the technology to capture the faces of patrons without their knowledge or consent. Once identified by recognition software as a threat, it could be hard to clear one’s name.

The privacy concerns associated with recording faces and keeping data from these recordings is particularly troubling because there are currently no regulations to govern the use of facial recognition technology. There is no guarantee store employees know how to properly use the data generated, and there is no standard for how accurate the technology needs to be.

Some facial recognition software works by logging everyone who enters a store. If the program detects a known shoplifter, security is alerted. Different branches of a store and all stores using a particular brand of the software may be able to share data. This means a person could be barred from several locations if he or she is determined to be a shoplifter.

The freedom businesses have when using facial recognition software might be envied by law enforcement agencies. One potential area of abuse arises if stores start sharing the information they gather with the authorities. While usually needing a warrant to keep tabs on someone, facial recognition technology could let authorities see flagged faces in real-time.

No one can say for sure how facial recognition software will affect the legal and law enforcement communities, but there are rules the police must follow when charging someone with a crime. Some of these rules involve probable cause. Probable cause means that the police must have a reason for detaining someone or conducting a search. This is one area a criminal defense attorney might challenge when representing a client.