Glossary

3D facial recognition

3D facial recognition© 2020 Shutterstock

What is facial recognition?

Facial recognition is the act of verifying the identity of someone by matching their face to a database of faces. This technology can be used to identify people in photos, videos, or even in real-time on security cameras.

There are many modern uses of facial recognition. Namely, facial recognition can now be used to access a smartphone (such as the iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy Note 20), computer, or even a website. In the governmental sphere, it’s often used to identify criminals or used at places such as airports to scan faces and alert Interpol or border security of any prohibited passengers.

How does facial recognition work?

Facial recognition technology works by using biometrics to map facial features. The software analyzes patterns based on the contour of a person’s faces. It looks at 80 different nodal points and then matches it with information in a database to verify who you are.

According to security companies, there are four main stages of facial recognition:

Stage 1: Face detection

Stage 2: Face analysis

Stage 3: Converting image to data

Stage 4: Finding a match

CSIS notes that currently, facial recognition apps can achieve accuracy scores as high as 99.97% in most settings. It’s recently been used in apps to alter a user’s face, making it look older, younger, or even change genders.

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