Browse Definitions:
Definition

facial recognition

Facial recognition (or face recognition) is a biometric method of identifying an individual by comparing live capture or digital image data with the stored record for that person.

Facial recognition systems are commonly used for security purposes but are increasingly being used in a variety of other applications. The Kinect motion gaming system, for example, uses facial recognition to differentiate among players. Some mobile payment systems use facial recognition to securely authenticate users, and facial recognition systems are currently being studied or deployed for airport security.

Most current facial recognition systems work with numeric codes called faceprints. Such systems identify 80 nodal points on a human face. In this context, nodal points are end points used to measure variables of a person’s face, such as the length or width of the nose, the depth of the eye sockets and the shape of the cheekbones. These systems work by capturing data for nodal points on a digital image of an individual’s face and storing the resulting data as a faceprint. The faceprint can then be used as a basis for comparison with data captured from faces in an image or video.

Facial recognition systems based on faceprints can quickly and accurately identify target individuals when the conditions are favorable. However, if the subject’s face is partially obscured or in profile rather than facing forward, or if the light is insufficient, the software is less reliable. Nevertheless, the technology is evolving quickly and there are several emerging approaches, such as 3D modeling, that may overcome current problems with the systems. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the incidence of false positives in facial recognition systems has been halved every two years since 1993 and, as of the end of 2011, was just .003%

Currently, a lot of facial recognition development is focused on smartphone applications. Smartphone facial recognition capacities include image tagging and other social networking integration purposes as well as personalized marketing. A research team at Carnegie Mellon has developed a proof-of-concept iPhone app that can take a picture of an individual and -- within seconds -- return the individual's name, date of birth and social security number.

Facebook uses facial recognition software to help automate user tagging in photographs. Here’s how facial recognition works in Facebook: Each time an individual is tagged in a photograph, the software application stores information about that person’s facial characteristics. When enough data has been collected about a person to identify them, the system uses that information to identify the same face in different photographs, and will subsequently suggest tagging those pictures with that person’s name.

Facial recognition software also enhances marketing personalization. For example, billboards have been developed with integrated software that identifies the gender, ethnicity and approximate age of passersby to deliver targeted advertising.

According to a report from CBS News, almost half of United States citizens are represented in a facial recognition database.

Other biometric identification systems include speaker recognition, iris recognition, skin texture recognition, fingerprint scanning and finger vein identification.

See also: machine vision, gesture recognition, IP surveillance, intelligent video, defense in depth

Kim Komando explains facial recognition technology:

This was last updated in December 2016

Continue Reading About facial recognition

Join the conversation

3 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

i had to find some of this stuff out for a school project, it helped me out alot, :) thanks
Cancel
great site, thanks alot, helped me out
Cancel
do they sue facial recognition on public sites like facebook and twitter??
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • phishing

    Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication ...

  • vulnerability disclosure

    Vulnerability disclosure is the practice of publishing information about a computer security problem, and a type of policy that ...

  • incident response

    Incident response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • flash memory

    Flash memory, also known as flash storage, is a type of nonvolatile memory that erases data in units called blocks.

  • NAND flash memory

    NAND flash memory is a type of nonvolatile storage technology that does not require power to retain data.

  • NOR flash memory

    NOR flash memory is one of two types of nonvolatile storage technologies.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close