Have you ever noticed your friends getting tagged automatically after you upload a group picture? Though the technology has now gained widespread attention, its history can be traced back to the 1960s. Woodrow Wilson (Woody) Bledsoe, an American mathematician and computer scientist, is one of the founders of pattern and facial recognition technology. Back in the 1960s, he developed ways to classify faces using gridlines. A striking fact was, even during the experimental and inception phase, the application was able to match 40 faces per hour.
Imagine a world in which you can scan your face to board a train, check into a hotel, order a meal at a café, or even track your food from farm to table. In China, all of this is already happening. Facial recognition became more pervasive this year after the Chinese government in December 2017 announced an ambitious plan to achieve greater face-reading accuracy by 2020. The country also plans to introduce a system that will identify any of its 1.3 billion citizens in just three seconds. Public and private enterprises have rushed to adopt the futuristic, artificial intelligence-powered technology, implementing facial-recognition systems in transportation networks, medical facilities, and law enforcement initiatives.
New facial recognition technology has identified three impostors at Washington Dulles International Airport. Citing a U.S. Customs and Border Protection release, The Washington Post reports a woman arriving on a Monday flight from Accra, Ghana, presented a U.S. passport, but the facial recognition technology reported a mismatch. A secondary inspection and biometric examination identified her as a 26-year-old citizen of Cameroon, not the United States. The release says the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority partnered with CBP to use biometric entry and exit technology using facial comparison to bolster security and efficiency for international travelers. Officers at Dulles previously intercepted a Congolese man using a French passport Aug. 22 and a Ghanaian woman using a U.S. passport Sept. 8. Posing as another person when entering the United States violates immigration law.
During just its third day in action, a facial recognition system used by Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) caught its first imposter. While that's a clear win for proponents of the tech, it might also be major blow to the privacy of the average airline passenger. On Monday, 14 airports in the U.S. launched a pilot program to test the effectiveness of a biometric scanning system during the security and boarding processes. Passengers simply stand in front of a camera that takes their photo. The system then compares that photo to the one on the person's passport to confirm their identity.