AuthorTopic: The Government Is Using the Most Vulnerable People to Test Facial Recognition  (Read 119 times)

Offline azozeo

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If you thought IBM using “quietly scraped” Flickr images to train facial recognition systems was bad, it gets worse. Our research, which will be reviewed for publication this summer, indicates that the U.S. government, researchers, and corporations have used images of immigrants, abused children, and dead people to test their facial recognition systems, all without consent. The very group the U.S. government has tasked with regulating the facial recognition industry is perhaps the worst offender when it comes to using images sourced without the knowledge of the people in the photographs.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, maintains the Facial Recognition Verification Testing program, the gold standard test for facial recognition technology. This program helps software companies, researchers, and designers evaluate the accuracy of their facial recognition programs by running their software through a series of challenges against large groups of images (data sets) that contain faces from various angles and in various lighting conditions. NIST has multiple data sets, each with a name identifying its provenance, so that tests can include people of various ages and in different settings. Scoring well on the tests by providing the fastest and most accurate facial recognition is a massive boost for any company, with both private industry and government customers looking at the tests to determine which systems they should purchase. In some cases, cash prizes as large as $25,000 are awarded. With or without a monetary reward, a high score on the NIST tests essentially functions as the tech equivalent of a Good Housekeeping seal or an “A+” Better Business Bureau rating. Companies often tout their test scores in press releases. In recognition of the organization’s existing market approval role, a recent executive order put NIST at the lead of regulatory efforts around facial recognition technology, and A.I. more broadly.


https://slate.com/technology/2019/03/facial-recognition-nist-verification-testing-data-sets-children-immigrants-consent.html
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