Surveillance cameras and gunshot detection systems that recognize the sound of a gunshot and focuses on the location have become more common in large cities over recent years, but now a third component is being added to the mix: facial recognition software.
Previous systems determined a shooter's location and took a photo, but a law enforcement agent would have to spend time trying to identifying the perpetrator.
The new system, however, uses Safety Dynamics’ camera, which has acoustic sensors that detect a gunshot, and then hones in on the location and points a high-resolution camera at the shooter's face. Next, the shooter’s image is checked against a biometric database (Airborne Biometrics Group’s FaceFirst software) to determine identity -- the software even creates a new record if it can’t find an existing one, Fox News reported.
But where does this database of images come from? Facial recognition is everywhere -- in cities, in airports and on Facebook. The technology necessary to perform facial regognition is cheaper and easier than every before, according to Facing Facts: Best Practices for Common Uses of Facial Recognition Technologies, a best practices guide released by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that explores the possibilities that facial recognition technology can bring. According to the guide, a 2011 Carnegie Mellon study showed that researchers identified individuals "in previously unidentified photos from a dating site by using facial recognition technology to match them to their Facebook profile photos."