This article brings up two important applications of face recognition: customer service and security. As for the former, most of us -- especially Millennials -- have already decided that we are willing to barter some of our privacy in order to have greater convenience. In fact, the moment that we sign up to use credit cards or Facebook, we are compromising some degree of privacy. And when we walk into a mall or casino with hundreds of CCTV video cameras we are surrendering more of our privacy. Lots of us would be happy to opt in to a face recognition program that ensures that we will have better customer service. For this use case, I think that it is important for retail patrons to either opt in or, at the very least, be notified when they are entering a store that biometric surveillance is in use.
However, when it comes to using face recognition for security, I think it is inevitable that all major retailers will soon be using this technology. The reason is because not only are shoplifting and organized retail crime on the rise but, more importantly, retail violence is climbing. Retailers have a responsibility to do everything in their power to keep their customers and employees safe from harm. And face recognition helps security know who to watch in order to prevent crime and violence. This technology also has the power to find missing children and victims of human trafficking. As a best practice, it's still good to notify patrons that biometric surveillance is in use. But, in my opinion, if this technology can find missing children and stop violence, the benefits to society radically outweigh any perceived costs.