Homeowners can now purchase a software program with AI-powered facial recognition capabilities to add to their home security system. Designed by a former New Jersey detective, the system sounds like a good way to increase home safety. Unfortunately, it's part of a larger issue of privacy, bias, and accuracy that can negatively affect both the general public and those accused of crimes.
Such programs seem a good way to increase public safety and keep victims of crime safe. Their downside is that they can infringe on an individual's privacy and create a society where constant surveillance is the norm. These programs can also mistakenly ID a person and create the risk of someone being falsely accused of violating a restraining order or committing a crime.
Lento Law Firm's Criminal Defense Team helps our clients navigate areas of new technology, especially in areas where the law is not keeping pace with technology. Call us or contact us online to learn how we can help you.
AI Facial Recognition
This new software program, designed to assist victims of sexual assault and stalking, sounds great on paper. It's advertised as a good way to help individuals with restraining orders stay safe and give them another avenue for collecting evidence if a restraining order is violated. The software can be incorporated into an existing home-security system, such as Ring, to detect certain flagged individuals and alert the homeowners.
The software program Overwatch uses photos supplied by homeowners to create a profile of the person they want to be detected. Overwatch can have the profile ready for installation within days.
As of 2023, New Jersey has no statewide policies on facial recognition software. The risks of misidentification, constant surveillance, and law enforcement overreach are such that some critics of facial recognition claim that any safety advantages are outweighed by the threat to society and individual's civil liberties.
Surveillance, Stalking, and Harassing
Victims of stalking and harassment should feel safe. Their right to safety needs to be weighed against the cost of constant surveillance and the bias and reach of these facial recognition programs. These programs, after all, can also be used against victims of stalking and harassment if not properly regulated.
Misidentification is a problem with facial recognition. Just as many of us can't remember which Hollywood Chris is which, so too software can confuse individuals.
These programs also invite the question of whether falsely AI-generated images could result in someone being accused of a crime or violating a restraining order. Or, alternatively, whether existing footage could be doctored to falsely accuse someone. While these may sound like plots out of dystopian sci-fi movies, without clear regulations on facial recognition technology, such concerns are unfortunately possible.
Police need a warrant to search your property. Surveillance systems, even those in private homes, should have similar safeguards in place.
Protect Your Privacy
Technology can be a useful way to keep the public safe and deter crime. Facial recognition and AI can both be useful, but without regulations, they put those accused of crimes at a disadvantage and without sufficient protections of their rights.
If you've been accused of a crime due to surveillance or facial recognition, contact the Lento Law Firm. We can help you navigate this emerging tech and protect your rights. Call us or contact us online to learn how we can help you.