This study aims to explore whether face recognition technology – as it is intensely used by state and local police departments and law enforcement agencies – is racism…
This study aims to explore whether face recognition technology – as it is intensely used by state and local police departments and law enforcement agencies – is racism free or, on the contrary, is affected by racial biases and/or racist prejudices, thus reinforcing overall racial discrimination.
The study investigates the causal pathways through which face recognition technology may reinforce the racial disproportion in enforcement; it also inquires whether it further discriminates black people by making them experience more racial discrimination and self-identify more decisively as black – two conditions that are shown to be harmful in various respects.
This study shows that face recognition technology, as it is produced, implemented and used in Western societies, reinforces existing racial disparities in stop, investigation, arrest and incarceration rates because of racist prejudices and even contributes to strengthen the unhealthy effects of racism on historically disadvantaged racial groups, like black people.
The findings hope to make law enforcement agencies and software companies aware that they must take adequate action against the racially discriminative effects of the use of face recognition technology.
This study highlights that no implementation of an allegedly racism-free biometric technology is safe from the risk of racially discriminating, simply because each implementation leans against our society, which is affected by racism in many persisting ways.
While the ethical survey of biometric technologies is traditionally framed in the discourse of universal rights, this study explores an issue that has not been deeply scrutinized so far, that is, how face recognition technology differently affects distinct racial groups and how it contributes to racial discrimination.
This study aims to explore the ethical and social issues of tattoo recognition technology (TRT) and tattoo similarity detection technology (TSDT), which are expected to be…
This study aims to explore the ethical and social issues of tattoo recognition technology (TRT) and tattoo similarity detection technology (TSDT), which are expected to be increasingly used by state and local police departments and law enforcement agencies.
The paper investigates the new ethical concerns raised by tattoo-based biometrics on a comparative basis with face-recognition biometrics.
TRT raises much more ethically sensitive issues than face recognition, because tattoos are meaningful biometric traits, and tattoo identification is tantamount to the identification of many more personal features that normally would have remained invisible. TSDT’s assumption that classifying people in virtue of their visible features is useful to foretell their attitudes and behaviours is dangerously similar to racist thought.
The findings hope to promote an active debate on the ethical and social aspects of tattoo-based biometrics before it is intensely implemented by law enforcement agencies.
Tattooed individuals – inasmuch as they are more controlled and monitored – are negatively discriminated in comparison to un-tattooed individuals. As tattooing is not uniformly distributed among population, many demographic groups like African–Americans will be overrepresented in tattoos databases used by TRT and TSDT, thus being affected by disproportionately higher risk to be found as a match for a given suspect.
TRT and TSDT represent one of the new frontiers of biometrics. The ethical and social issues raised by TRT and TSDT are currently unexplored.