Facial recognition technology usage in Jordan

facial recognition by smartphone allows biometric
(Photo: Envato Elements)
facial recognition by smartphone allows biometric

Hamza Alakaleek

Hamza Alakaleek has graduate degrees in International Political Economy and International Business Law from Yarmouk University and University de Montreal with focus in Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Data Protection.

The Municipality of Greater Amman has announced plans to use facial recognition technology (FRT) starting next year. FRT may be used in a variety of applications, including security, law enforcement, and traffic flow. اضافة اعلان

The government says that its use will help to improve security, reduce crime, and make the Capital more efficient. The Jordanian government has said that it will take steps to protect people's privacy and prevent the misuse of facial recognition technology. In addition, it will develop policies and regulations that govern the use of facial recognition technology and train law enforcement officers in its responsible use.

However, it is important to weigh the potential benefits and risks of the Jordanian government's plans to use facial recognition technology carefully. The government should take steps to protect people's privacy and prevent the misuse of this technology.

How it works
FRT works by extracting key features from a person's face, such as the distance between their eyes, the shape of their nose, and the curvature of their jawline. These features are then compared to a database of known faces to find a match.

Enforcement FRT can be used to identify criminals, suspects, and missing persons. It can also be used to control access to buildings and other secure areas. Face recognition technology is also used by many social media platforms to identify and tag people in photos. Furthermore, it is used by many smartphones and tablets to unlock devices and verify payments.

Even retail has used Face recognition technology to identify and track customers. Therefore, strong regulations are important to protect privacy and prevent the misuse of face recognition technology.

Patchwork legislation
The rapid development of FRT has led to complex ethical choices in terms of balancing individual privacy rights versus delivering societal safety. Within this space, an increasingly commonplace use of these technologies by law enforcement agencies has presented a particular lens for probing this complex landscape, its application, and the acceptable extent of citizen surveillance.

Countries such as the United States and the UK, as well as the EU, have adopted this technology but law enforcement in those states has misused it Quite often. In the case of the USA, it is one of the main global regions in which the technology is being rapidly evolved, and yet, it has a patchwork of legislation with less emphasis on data protection and privacy.

Within the context of the EU and the UK, there has been a critical focus on the development of accountability requirements, particularly when considered in the context of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the legal focus on Privacy by Design (PbD). As a consequence, the EU has adopted various mechanisms to protect privacy such as Data protection impact assessments (DPIA) and human rights impact assessments together with greater transparency and regulation regarding FRT use.

Therefore, in order to legitimize the use of FRT, governments and organizations need to implement policies that address concerns regarding ethics and privacy.

Governments should be transparent about how they are using FRT. This includes disclosing the types of FRT systems they are using, the data that is being used to train these systems, and the decisions that these systems are making.

Further, authorities should be accountable for the use of FRT. This means that there should be a clear process for reviewing and challenging the decisions made by FRT systems.

FRT systems should be designed to be fair and unbiased. This means that FRT systems should not discriminate against any particular group of people. Accordingly, Government agencies could establish a review board that is responsible for reviewing and challenging the decisions made by FRT systems.

In like manner, FRT systems should be used under human oversight. Hence, humans should have the ability to review and override the decisions made by FRT systems.

Additionally, Privacy is a principle, therefore, FRT systems should be used in a way that respects the privacy of individuals. Thus, FRT systems should only collect the data that is necessary for the intended purpose and the data should be used only for that purpose.

FRT systems have to be secure. This means that FRT systems should be protected from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of data.

Governments should Develop a national FRT strategy: This strategy should outline the government's vision for the use of FRT and identify the specific areas where FRT can be used to improve public safety or provide other benefits. Government agencies should only retain data as long as it is necessary for the intended purpose. Among other policies, FRT systems should only share data with other parties if it is necessary for the intended purpose and if the other parties have adequate privacy and security measures in place.

Restrictions and regulations
To some degree, government agencies should restrict the use of FRT.

Some jurisdictions have banned the use of FRT in public places, such as schools and parks. Other jurisdictions have banned the use of FRT by law enforcement without a warrant; for example, in 2019, San Francisco became the first major city in the United States to ban the use of FRT by city agencies. The ban includes the use of FRT for surveillance, identification, and tracking.

Furthermore, some countries have limited the type of data that can be collected, such as demographic data. Others have limited the use of FRT systems to certain types of crimes; for example, in 2021, the EU passed a law that prohibits the use of FRT systems to identify individuals in public places without their consent. The law also limits the type of data that can be collected and used by FRT systems.

Some authorities Implemented strong data security measures. This will help to protect facial images from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure; for example, in 2021, the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published a framework for the responsible development and use of FRT. The framework includes recommendations for implementing strong data security measures.

In addition, other countries have Established oversight mechanisms. This could include independent audits and reviews of FRT systems, as well as a process for individuals to challenge the decisions made by FRT systems; for instance, in 2021, the Canadian government established a working group to study the use of FRT by law enforcement. The working group is expected to make recommendations on how to ensure that FRT is used in a responsible and ethical way.

Hamza Alakaleek is a Corporate lawyer and tax consultant with post-graduate degrees in international political economy, international business law, and law and technology with a focus on internet of things, artificial intelligence, and data protection.

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