Integrating security with your business is a bit of a balancing act when it comes to issues of privacy and customer comfort. For example, if you owned an auto parts store, you wouldn’t think of installing metal detectors, but you might ask people to leave their bags behind the counter while they shopped.
To ensure you've got the right balance, it’s important to understand how new advances in security technology might involve privacy concerns and legal issues.
One of the most powerful new tools available in residential and commercial security systems is facial recognition. If you’re considering this feature for your business, here are five questions and answers that will help you decide how you can use facial recognition responsibly.
1) What is facial recognition software?
At its most basic, facial recognition is used to help track and find people using surveillance cameras. Software within the camera works to detect facial features. It’s no different than when you recognize a favorite customer when they walk in the door, or when you recognize a chronic trespasser entering your property after being told not to.
2) What are the legal ramifications of using facial recognition?
In early May of 2019, San Francisco banned the use of facial recognition technology for security purposes by city agencies and police departments. As of now, they are the only city to do so. The ban came about as a result of civil liberty groups’ unease about the technology’s potential abuse by government agencies.
There’s no doubt that facial recognition is a debated issue, and more bans may come, but as of now, there are no limitations on use within the private sector. As a result, many property owners who can benefit from facial recognition software are actively using it.
3) What about people who aren’t comfortable having their faces identified?
Video cameras are popping up everywhere and every day, more and more areas are being recorded. As technology continues to advance, interactions with facial recognition software and other video recognition technology are becoming an unavoidable reality.
4) How can businesses/properties benefit from using facial recognition?
There are lots of benefits to facial recognition technology. You can use it to help determine when employees arrive and leave, get informed if a VIP customer visits your business, or receive an alert if a known intruder or disgruntled former employee shows up.
5) What does the use of facial recognition technology mean for the future of surveillance and security?
Among the many advancements being made in video surveillance, facial recognition is just one of them. How it’s used depends largely on which industries begin to adopt it. As of now, that’s still to be determined.
In the long run, every advance in security technology helps to make video surveillance systems more effective at reducing crime and preventing unwanted activity on your property.
Find out more about the benefits of facial recognition software, and learn about other recent advances in security technology by checking out our free white paper, Comparing Security Options For Your Business.