Professor G P Wright
BA 731 Business and Information Technology
08 December 2012
Facial Recognition Systems, Is this an effective tool for security?
Facial Recognition software has been used in many atmospheres to assist in security. There has been controversy as to wither or not facial recognition is an accurate tool. The software has been in existence for many years but still can be defeated by criminals, terrorists, and even by citizens in general without malice.
History of Facial Recognition Software.
Between the years 1964 to 1965; facial recognition started in its infancy by Woody Bledsoe, Helen Chan Wolf, and Charles Bisson. The project name man-machine utilized mug shot photos, the operator would obtain the features of a person such as the center of pupils, inside & outside corners of the eyes, points of widows peaks, forehead height, chin features and so on. The software measured the distances between twenty different points of the face, such as; width of eyes, width from pupil to pupil, width of mouth, and various others.
The problem with this concept is the difficulty of measuring the features would change as the face is tilted or rotated. Lighting was also a major factor in the accuracy of measuring the features to match a 2D photo.
Testing is being conducted.
The software has recent improvements to address past issues as well as keep up with the technology of today. In 2006, the  National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted numerous testing sponsored by multiple U.S. Government agencies. One of the priority testing was on the algorithm development project which was designed to advance facial recognition technology and support previous developed software.
In the recent news, in September 2012,  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) begins installation of a $1 billion facial recognition system in America in an effort to increase information and sharing in support of anti-terrorism as well as “conducting automated surveillance at lookout locations” and “tracking subject movements,”. This basically means facial recognition is no longer just a software program with stored mug shots of individuals with criminal records but includes surveillance capabilities.
The software was named Next Generation Identification (NGI) by the FBI Biometric Center of Intelligence. The Biometric Center is a division of the FBI to study and develop evolving new technology and enhance biometric technologies and capabilities for cohesive functions.
This software will give the FBI access in many areas of security, terrorism, and fugitive retrieval.  The Biometric Center presentation in 2010 presented automated identity verification, human identification fugitives as well as missing persons, screening, national security, and identity intelligence to understand intent.
Have you ever watched the CBS show Person of Interest where government agencies want such a capability and one man has invented it? The software not only can point out the criminals but can alert him of an individual who will either be the victim or perpetrator before an actual crime has taken place. Yes this is a fictional show but the concept of software facial recognition software to recognize individuals is here.
From what the FBI reports in September 2012 this concept is not so far out of reach. The FBI agency has been researching many aspects of facial recognition from Facial Landmarking, Facial Aging, Automated retrieval of scars, marks, and Tattoos, Ear recognition, and many more aspects of identifying anyone anywhere.
According to NGI the technology they now are accurate at spotting suspects from a pool of 1.6 million mug shots with a 92% of accuracy rating. This system was tested in Michigan and I currently running in Washington, Florida, and North Carolina. Mind you, there is no data to prove this to be true that I could find so we will have to take the...