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Whether it's smartphone authentication or classroom facial monitoring,
continued innovation and practical application of the technology."
His comments added to the growing dialogue about the role of FRT. For example,
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), chairman of the House Subcommittee on
National Security, International
Development and Monetary Policy has
focused on the social implications of FRT.
"Facial recognition is a powerful tool that
is permeating American life, and yet, the
propensity of the technology to misidentify individuals, particularly in regard to
variances in skin type and gender, is welldocumented," Cleaver said. "The potential
for illegal discrimination and/or unfair
practices resulting from such bias continues to concern lawmakers."


While policymakers ponder how to handle
FRT and its allied biometric tools, countless communications, retail, academic and
marketing organizations have embraced
the capabilities of these technologies. Its
financial impact is expected to grow from
$3.8 billion in 2017 to $9.8 billion by 2023.
Whether it's smartphone authentication
(such as Apple's Face ID or Android's
Smart Lock systems) or classroom facial
monitoring (to assure that only authorized
students are in the classroom as well as to
take attendance), FRT has established
itself as a viable and often vital technique.
Going farther, research companies are
using "emotion recognition" to fine-tune
advertising campaigns and other creative
ventures by observing how facial responses
such as smiles or grimaces indicate viewers'
attitudes toward specific images.
In hospitals, FRT is being used for
quicker, more accurate patient care. Online
retailer Alibaba's "Smile-to-Pay" software
has been used for fast-food purchases for
nearly two years. Snapchat lets users establish privacy settings by using FRT to determine which friends should be blocked by
an emoji. Facebook's system has helped its
members tag friends when they appear in
photos for nearly eight years.
HyreCar, a car-sharing marketplace for
ridesharing now operating in three dozen


states, introduced a mobile application in
March that can expedite new driver onboarding and verification, using technology from software developers Mitek.
HyreCar CEO Joe Furnari says that the
new seamless mobile interface can expedite the booking and verification process by
30 percent and lower ID document forgery
up to 20 percent - all of which will "enable
scale and reduce overhead costs toward our
future vision of personal transportation."
Fundamentally, FRT blends computer
vision and data processing to measure and
match dozens of unique facial characteristics; the most basic systems capture about
80 nodal points to create a faceprint (a
numerical code) that analyzes features
such as the length of a jawline, the shape of
a nose and cheekbones and the distance
between eye sockets. Subsequently, this
image, reduced to data, is put into a facial
database and can then be compared to
other images. For example, in security
authorizations, the current face scan is
matched to the image in the database to
confirm that it is really you.
In most configurations, these FRT recognitions can be integrated with existing
security systems, such as employee or student ID. Experts acknowledge that processing and storing visual IDs can be
burdensome, but they observe it is another
cost of doing business.
The recent Biometric Consumer
Sentiment Survey, commissioned by
Veridium, a developer of authentication
solutions, identified the growing appeal
of such systems. The introduction of fingerprint sensors into mobile devices in
2011 was the catalyst for the consumerization of biometric authentication, says
Veridium CEO James Stickland. The
study found - perhaps reflecting familiarity with current systems - that fingerprint ID was preferred by 63 percent of
respondents, compared to facial recognition (14 percent), voice recognition (two
percent), or traditional passwords and
PINs (eight percent).
Veridium also found that consumers are
comfortable using biometrics to unlock
their devices (80 percent), and to use applications such as finance (35 percent),

payments (31 percent), company networks
(12 percent), travel (11 percent) and health
care (10 percent). Among the demographic
preferences uncovered in Veridium's study:
● Millennials (under age 35 years) value
speed (46 percent), Generation X (ages
35-55) cite not having to remember passwords (44 percent) and Baby Boomers
(55+ years) favor security (30 percent)
more than anything.
● Millennials most frequently use biometrics to access financial applications such as
banking apps or ATMs (46 percent) and
payments (45 percent). Generation X's
number one application of biometric
authentication is for travel (41 percent) and
Baby Boomers most use the technology

Measuring Beings
Biometric measurements are emerging thanks to
the confluence of enabling technologies. Sensors,
big data, high-speed processing and other precision digital tools are enabling companies to identify personal traits and behaviors far beyond such
classic unique identifiers as fingerprints (first used
widely in the 1890s) and handwriting/signature
analysis, also called "graphology" (dating from
the 1870s). To be fair, older examples exist. For
example, thumbprints on clay slabs were used in
ancient China as a form of personal identification.
Today's identity tools can verify an individual via
retinal and iris patterns, hand geometry, earlobe
shapes, voice waves as well as DNA. By assembling vast libraries of personal features and using
the immense processing power of networked
computers, systems can analyze features to determine countless factors about individuals.
Despite the privacy handwringing about collecting personal identifiers, many advocates see
extensive value in using these technologies for
safety, accessibility and business improvement.
For example, some health experts believe that a
unique patient identifier system would assure accurate information for critical clinical, administrative and research purposes. Marketers are using
"emotion recognition" (an extension of facial monitoring) to identify when an eye twitch or a cheek
pout subtly expresses a person's true reaction to
an image or visual experience - far more accurately than a thumb up or down response.
As for what's ahead: the constantly improving biometric monitoring capabilities will be able
to recognize gestures, gait patterns, palm and
ear prints, and "scent signatures." The days of
blending into a crowd will soon be over.


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