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The pros and cons of using facial recognition technology

Black people’s response to the use of facial recognition technology has been mixed, with some considering it acceptable in some cases, but more reservations about the tool than other races.

These are the results of a Pew Research Center poll last month examining the use of facial recognition technology by police.

“We asked a few questions about facial recognition software a few years ago, and we saw some patterns where black Americans were less receptive and more skeptical,” said the Pew investigator. Associate Director Monica Anderson told theGrio. “This is one of her key takeaways not only in this study, but in previous studies as well.”

In this October 7, 2020 file photo, a video surveillance camera is mounted in the ceiling above a subway platform at Court Street Station in Brooklyn, New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lenihan, Files)

The survey, released July 14, found that 29% of black people believe that law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technology undermines police impartiality. Only 22% of them thought policing would be fairer, much lower than the Hispanics (40%) and whites (36%) surveyed by Pew.

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The survey also showed that nearly half (48%) of blacks believe authorities will use the technology to monitor neighborhoods of color more often than other areas. About 28% of black respondents believe authorities use technology to make false arrests.

Safeguards are not enough to assuage suspicion.

“For example, people with no criminal record are less likely to say that[the technology]would be better if they could opt out of facial recognition databases,” said Anderson. “They also didn’t necessarily agree with the idea that training could help reduce errors.

“What we are seeing with Black Americans is additional things like training notices that have people opting out and are still less likely to participate in technology,” Anderson added. rice field.

Interestingly, the poll also showed that nearly half of all Americans, regardless of race, support using this technology to monitor protests. Overall, 46% of her Americans, including her 4 in 10 of black respondents, say that technology use is good for society.

Emily Vogels, a researcher at the Pew Research Center, noted the discrepancy in responses.

“There are some interesting things going on when you look at this thread of concern and skepticism that black adults stand out for, but I think it’s very similar to adults from other races and ethnic backgrounds in their views.” Sometimes you can see that there is,” she told Griot.

This survey is not final word, but just another step in the process of understanding how Black people feel about facial recognition technology and its use.

There is a complicating factor that some people may not really understand what facial recognition technology is and how it works.

In short, the technology matches faces with images to determine potential matches. Blacks aren’t the only group skeptical about its use. The American Civil Liberties has been a leader in combating the use of technology, calling it a “threat to our privacy and civil liberties.”

They also note the case in which a Detroit man, Robert Williams, was arrested and jailed for 30 hours based on an erroneous identification document. Williams filed a lawsuit against the Detroit Police Department with the help of the ACLU and the University of Michigan Law School’s Civil Rights Litigation Initiative.

Additionally, the New York Times reports that two other black men were imprisoned based on bad matches.

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Anderson noted correlations between the results of this study and those of previous studies examining trust and policing.

“While the survey didn’t specifically ask about policing attitudes, past research has shown significant gaps when it comes to fairness and policing attitudes,” Anderson said. says.

“Black American [stand] They are particularly skeptical, unreliable, and more concerned about what is happening across the country and what is happening in their communities.

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