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The Dangers of Facial Recognition Technology

Some big problems with “facial recognition technology” are that if there are corporate or government databases of people’s faces for computers to match a suspect or a prospective worker or bank account applicant, there are privacy concerns, as mentioned in this Computer World article, which also raises personal security concerns.

And there are the false positives. This article notes how the FBI doesn’t record the number of false positives that have occurred with its facial recognition program. But this article on the Intercept describes in detail the inevitable reality of false positives that will cause many people to be falsely accused, arrested, detained, tried and convicted for crimes they had nothing to do with. In fact, the Intercept article also details one story of a guy who was assaulted and badly injured by police and falsely jailed for a bank robbery but for which surveillance video from his employer had provided his alibi. And the same situation happened a second time to the same guy.

We already know that fingerprinting can produce false positives, as well as DNA databases, let alone facial recognition. According to this CBS News article about DNA false positives leading to people being falsely convicted of crimes they had nothing to do with, DNA testing has to be administered properly in the first place, and its analyses are subject to “interpretation.”

The Innocence Project covers many cases of victims of false accusation, false conviction and false imprisonment based on DNA and other sources of false evidence.

This Wired article shows how Apple’s FaceID will be used for mass spying, and this article on Activist Post shows how government police can unlock your phone that has Apple FaceID by pointing it at your face and then accessing all your private information.

I know that privacy is a concern with many people, but really the concern should be security. All these technologies that government bureaucrats have now are providing government agencies with the ability to not only violate your life and your privacy, but the ability to commit crimes against your person and property, your home or business much more than they have already been doing and get away with it even more than they are already getting away with it.

So there are very good reasons why there should never be government databases of anyone’s personal information or ID characteristics. Government attracts the worst of the worst to its employment, and they are the ones who should never be trusted with these kinds of things.

Carl Watner discusses the National ID program that communists (a.k.a. fascists, a.k.a. “Democrats” and “Republicans”) in Washington want to further enslave the people with, and many of his points are related to all this.

Watner points out:

My objection to government enumeration and data gathering is not to the collection and registration of information per se, but rather to the coercive nature of the institution that gathers it. If some private organization chooses to solicit information from me, I may or may not respond. However, I will suffer no criminal penalties if I refuse to cooperate. When the State demands we conform to its identification procedures or collects information about us and our affairs, there are usually fines, penalties, or imprisonment for those who do not cooperate.

There is a definite ethical question involved in justifying government data gathering. Is it morally proper to coerce those who refuse to participate in enumeration programs or provide information demanded by the government? Do the ends justify the means?

Many times throughout history, government collection of seemingly innocent data (such as tribal or ethnic or racial affiliation) has resulted in horrible and deplorable genocide. The uses (and the abuses which are ultimately inherent in government administration) of government information in identifying and locating the civilian victims of the Nazis during World War II, or of the blacks in South Africa, or of the Tutsis in Rwanda, would, by themselves, be reason enough to question and then demand the cessation of government enumeration. The numbering and internment in the United States of over 100,000 American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II should be sufficient to prove my point. But even if it could be proven that government data collection benefits society in other ways (thus using the ends to justify the means), I would still be opposed because government necessarily has to act coercively in the manner in which it collects such information. I believe this to be wrong from an ethical perspective, and believe it sets the stage for the sorts of human right abuses that we have experienced under every species of government, whether democratic or totalitarian. As Robert Nisbet once noted, “With all respect to differences among types of government, there is not, in strict theory, any difference between the powers available to the democratic and to the totalitarian State.”

More reasons to oppose ALL government databases.

However, when it comes to protecting our freedom, our security and our privacy, federal, state and local government bureaucrats and their enforcers have sworn an oath to support and protect the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution includes the Fourth Amendment that they all must obey, whether they like it or not.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

“Persons” includes your face, your fingerprints, and your DNA, and “effects” includes your phones and other gadgets you happen to have (regardless of what the courts might ignorantly decide in these cases).

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