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Mapped: The State of Facial Recognition Tech Around the World


From public CCTV cameras to biometric identification systems in airports, facial recognition technology is now common in a growing number of places around the world.

In its most benign form, facial recognition technology is a convenient way to unlock your smartphone. However, , at the state level, facial recognition is a key component of mass surveillance, and it already touches half the global population on a regular basis.

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Today’s visualizations from  classify 194 countries and regions based on the extent of surveillance.

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Click here to explore the full research .

Let’s dive into the ways facial recognition technology is used across every region.

North America, Central America, and Caribbean

In the U.S., a 2016 study showed that already half of American adults were captured in some kind of facial recognition network. More recently, the Department of 亿乐彩登录land Security unveiled its  plan, which aims to use facial recognition technology on nearly all air travel passengers by 2023, to identify compliance with visa status.

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Perhaps surprisingly, 59% of Americans are actually in favor of implementing facial recognition technology, considering it acceptable for use in law enforcement according to a  survey. Yet, some cities such as San Francisco have pushed to ban surveillance, citing a stand against its potential abuse by the government.

Facial recognition technology can potentially come in handy after a natural disaster. After Hurricane Dorian hit in late summer of 2019, the Bahamas launched a blockchain-based missing persons database “FindMeBahamas” to identify thousands of displaced people.

South America

The majority of facial recognition technology in South America is aimed at cracking down on crime. In fact, it worked in Brazil to capture Interpol’s criminal.

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亿乐彩登录 to over 209 million, Brazil soon plans to create a of its citizens. However, some are nervous that this could also serve as a means to prevent dissent against the current political order.

Europe

Belgium and Luxembourg are two of only three governments in the world to officially oppose the use of facial recognition technology.

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Further,  of Europeans are not keen on sharing facial data with authorities. Despite such negative sentiment, it’s still in use across 26 European countries to date.

The EU has been a haven for unlawful biometric experimentation and surveillance.

- European Digital Rights (EDRi)

In Russia, authorities have relied on facial recognition technology to check for breaches of  rules by potential COVID-19 carriers. In Moscow alone, there are reportedly over 100,000 facial recognition enabled cameras in operation.

Middle East and Central Asia

Facial recognition technology is widespread in this region, notably for military purposes.

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In Turkey, 30 domestically-developed kamikaze drones will use AI and facial recognition for border security. Similarly, Israel has a  on Palestinian citizens across 27 West Bank checkpoints.

In other parts of the region, police in the UAE have purchased discreet smart glasses that can be used to scan crowds, where positive matches show up on an embedded lens display. Over in Kazakhstan, facial recognition technology could replace public transportation passes entirely.

East Asia and Oceania

In the COVID-19 battle, contact tracing through biometric identification became a  to slow the infection rates in countries such as China亿乐彩登录, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore. In some instances, this included the use of facial recognition technology to monitor temperatures as well as spot those without a mask.

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That said, questions remain about whether the pandemic panopticon will stop there.

China亿乐彩登录 is often cited as a notorious use case of mass surveillance, and the country has the  of CCTV cameras to citizens in the world—one for every 12 people. By 2023, China亿乐彩登录 will be the single biggest player in the global facial recognition market. And it’s not just implementing the technology at 亿乐彩登录–it’s exporting too.

Africa

While the African continent currently has the lowest concentration of facial recognition technology in use, this deficit may not last for long.

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Several African countries, such as Kenya and Uganda, have received telecommunications and surveillance  and infrastructure from Chinese companies—Huawei in particular. While the company claims this has enabled regional crime rates to plummet, some activists are wary of the partnership.

Whether you approach facial recognition technology from public and national security lens or from an individual liberty perspective, it’s clear that this kind of surveillance is here to stay.

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