Soon, all those science fiction movies' technologies that you thought were only possible in those movies may be brought to life. I'm talking about the face recognition technology that grants people to pay for things and access facilities, and it helps identify criminals.
The technology is currently being used mostly in China, but we could see it come to the United States sooner rather than later. The start up company, Face++ located in Beijing, adds your face to a database and allows you to be tracked at all times in their building. The technology is already being used in many apps that the people of China use everyday, including the payment app, Alipay (Knight).
"Pay with you face" technology can be used for many things that can benefit society. The first positive and most significant way the technology can be used is to identify criminals. In a surveillance type of way, this technology will have the ability to identify faces of criminals who have just broke the law in retail stores, on the road, or anywhere that a camera is set up. This could help make the world a better place by putting criminals behind bars or giving them fines for their wrongdoings.
Another feature that makes this good is security. The face is as identifiable and not recreated easily, much like the fingerprint. So when someone else tries to use your phone or credit card, or tries to steal your identity in any way, they will not be able to do so. This helps answer the security question, "are you who you are saying you are?" This also helps people access facilities (such as a school) that are suppose to be in the facility. For example, this could help decrease school shootings and other criminal acts like mentioned above. This would act as a safety net for situations like this (Upbin).
Lastly, a positive impact this technology can have is making payments easier. People in the United States have already started using things like their phones and apps to make paying people easier, so the next progression would be to catch up to China and start using faces to make a payment. Just like any transaction, there is the fear of theft, and by using a person's face to make a payment, unwanted transactions would decrease a lot (Waterman).
In conclusion, this technology would address a bunch of societal issues, especially identity theft. Additionally, just like any other new technology, there are a lot of questions about if this is the best idea to adapt and adopt. The biggest question is, "is this technology a breach of privacy?" Also, a lot of people would probably use the argument that they are not a criminal so they do not want to be watched like this, so a new question would arise, "are the benefits greater than the costs?"
Knight, W. (2017, April 06). In China, you can pay for goods just by showing your face. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603494/10-breakthrough-technologies-2017-paying-with-your-face/
Upbin, B. (2015, September 23). Pay With Your Face In MasterCard's New Pilot Project. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2015/08/19/pay-with-your-face-in-mastercards-new-pilot-project/#651c60ad14a4
Waterman, S. (2010, August 09). Facial-recognition technology used to catch identity thieves. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/9/facial-recognition-technology-identity-thieves/