Illustration for article titled Meet the cheap facial-recognition system that will identify you everywhere you go

You are being watched — especially when you go to the airport. But now you might be recognized, too. A company called Flight Display Systems has been demonstrating a $9,275 facial recognition device (pictured here) that can be installed inside airplane doors to check the identity of every person entering the plane, and alert staff if there is an "unauthorized" person. Basically it's just a souped-up CCTV camera, and it can be installed anywhere fairly unobtrusively.

The biggest problem? It's only 75-90% accurate. Get ready for some serious civil liberties violations.


According to Aviation International News:

See3 is based on Linus Fast Access facial-recognition software but adds Flight Display's own proprietary and expanding set of algorithms. The hardware consists of two main components–the camera and computer–both of which already have FAA parts manufacturer approval.

Placed at the entrance to the aircraft, the system elevates aircraft security by comparing the faces of those entering the airplane with a known database and alerting the crew of the entry of any unauthorized person.

See3 uses nearly 100,000 values to code a face image. Among the less complex of these are the obvious inter-ocular distance, distance between nose tip and eyes and the ratio of dimensions of the bounding box of the face. At this point, accuracy is between 75 and 90 percent, but Flight Display continues to add algorithms to improve on this.

So after going through two ID check points in the airport, 10-25% of people who are mis-identified as "unauthorized" are going to have to suffer the indignities of being kicked off a flight or searched or worse? Sounds like a great system.

Read more at Aviation International News. (Spotted on Evgeny Morozov's Twitter feed)


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