Privacy in a Digital World: AI and Facial Recognition Technologies

What is facial recognition, and why is it important? 


Facial recognition is a biometric software application capable of uniquely identifying or verifying a person by comparing and analyzing patterns based on the person’s facial contours. Facial recognition is mostly used for security purposes, though there is increasing interest in other areas of use. In fact, facial recognition technology has received significant attention as it has potential for a wide range of application related to law enforcement as well as other enterprises.


Today’s Essential Questions:

  • What is facial recognition software and how does it affect my life?
  • How does society balance the need to identify and track people, especially wrong-doers, with the right to privacy?

First, let’s watch this video:

Next, you’ll need to spend 5 minutes with a partner doing an important task. You should leave the classroom and go see if you can find 4 locations where we have security cameras on campus. You’ll be asked to list a few of those locations below.

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO ANSWER (each student must submit individual responses)

  1. What other technology has law enforcement, the government and companies used to keep track of you? List as many tools you can think of.
  2. What do you think people might have worried about when the “new” technologies of fingerprinting or mug shots were invented?
  3. Is facial recognition and other forms of identification technology an invasion of privacy? Why or why not?
  4. Who should have access to our face prints and other data? Who should not be given access?
  5. Where would you draw the line when it comes to facial recognition? Private companies (like Snapchat or Walmart)? Everyone? No one? Explain your answer.
  6. Do you use Snapchat? Have you used FaceApp? Do you know where those images of your face are being stored?
  7. Do you worry about the lack of privacy your generation faces every day because of apps that track you or facial recognition cameras that are always watching you?
  8. List 3-4 places on the DA Upper School campus where you found surveillance cameras.

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