It took tests to determine? Who paid for these ‘tests’. If it was the taxpayer, and it looks like it was, I want that money refunded.
Ongoing tests of facial recognition technology continue to show that the technology is baffled when people wear masks of the sort that have become widespread (and even mandatory) in some places during the current pandemic. Forty-one newly tested algorithms—some of which were designed to compensate for face coverings—show the same dramatically elevated error rates as those examined earlier.
The tests have important implications for privacy at a time when surveillance technology is growing increasingly pervasive—but so is mask wearing. These studies are of interest, too, in an era of political instability and growing concern over law enforcement excesses, when people may have a strong interest in making identification of opponents and protesters difficult for the powers-that-be.
The tested facial algorithms are additions to those scrutinized by the U.S. government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in a report issued in July. “Now that so many of us are covering our faces to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, how well do face recognition algorithms identify people wearing masks? The answer, according to a preliminary study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is with great difficulty,” NIST summarized its findings at the time. “Even the best of the 89 commercial facial recognition algorithms tested had error rates between 5% and 50% in matching digitally applied face masks with photos of the same person without a mask.” Continue reading “”