Facial Recognition is a mess, if not done right!

COVID-19 threw the world into a pandemonium of rapid digitization, in an effort to counter abrasive and increasing frauds, making the process all the more tedious and necessary at the same time. The pandemic forced the hand of many industries that were slowly going through this digital shift, whereas the pandemic acted as a catalyst to the situation. Resulting in a rapid digital transformation. The same is the case of the IDV industry, although this portion of the industry does pride itself on being digitized certain facets of the package are still being argued upon.

Facial recognition: two sides of a coin

Facial verification can be considered a part of biometric verification, owing to the stringent AML/KYC compliance and ever-evolving regulations. This particular form of KYC cannot be ignored. There is however debate over the effectiveness, clarity, and need of such an action. The technology in itself is groundbreaking as it analyses, jaw-length measures bone structure and whatnot. A report suggests that  59% of Americans are comfortable with law enforcement agencies using facial recognition tools in order to assess threats in public places. Whereas on the other hand 18% of Americans feel comfortable with the use of technology via advertisers.

This sharp contrast reteriates the point that facial recognition might not be fully accepted by society as a safe tool.

Facial recognition systems: Threat or treat

In the year 2020 FTC reported 4.8 million Identity thefts which are 45% more than 2019. A sudden increase in frauds and particularly ID frauds calls for a long-term solution. One of these long-term solutions is the use of facial recognition systems. There are a few reasons due to which organizations look to employ these tools:

  1. Security

The facial recognition technology has a vast number of usages, surveillance, personal data security, 2 factor authentication and so forth.

Governments look to employ an enhanced facial recognition protocol that would help in identifying known threats, burgalors, wanted felons, terrorists.  The network they use is much more advanced and is a ton more complex. As it has to deal with thousands of people commuting about on a daily basis and in jam packed areas.

So the main purpose of using the said tech is to enhance security and ensure peace and safety of the public.

  • Efficient integration

Another factor in opting for it is the ease of processing and integration. Integrating a facial recognition system online these days has to be the easiest job available. These systems are compatible with all security softwares, so your cost of operations is heavily impacted when there are no additional charges of installation and integration.

  • Innovative online banking

Since the pandemic has struck the shores of the world financial institutions especially have suffered a lot at the hands of fraudsters. As the entire industry was forced to move remote, the security checks had to be able to deal with all the fraudsters and fraud attempts. As a result of this, strict KYC protocols were enacted. This is where facial recognition or face identification can come into handy. A face lock can help in a lot of ways even if you lose your password or pin you can still transact without any hindrance.

  • Omit the spread of virus

Perhaps the biggest benefit of facial verification is that it reduces touchpoints to a minimum. The stringent health protocols call for low or no physical contact. Face verification being an entirely digital process requires no physical contact. No physical contact means no spread of the virus. This is vital owing to the contemporary situation. Most of the kiosks even being installed are touchless and contactless inorder to curb the spread of the virus.

  • Seamless Automated ID verification

Facial verification has completely taken over manual verification practices, this is a regular checkpoint in the KYC process. Not only is it fully automated but it also speeds up the entire process, instead of manually matching the picture of the ID card holder to the person itself, all of it can be done through a mere selfie integrated with facial verification online . This enhances the customer experience and also reduces manual labour, decreasing operational cost.

However with all these benefits and much more, the biggest question mark on the entire process is data privacy. Facial recognition in many states of the US as of today is still considered as a breach of privacy, and a threat of personal data being available online is a nightmare no one wants. The data protection regulatory authorities demand that the user’s data must be protected at all cost, many few of the facial recognition system providers are actually GDPR compliant in real terms. This does tarnish the repute of the facial verification system but it is nothing that cannot be fixed.


The bottom line of the entire article is that even though facial recognition is two sides of the same coin. However in this particular case the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and on the basis of that we must consider the fact: it is absolutely necessary that we employ a modern technique to protect not only our society, from known dangers, but also our privacy by complying to the GDPR prescribed practices.

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