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Facial recognition is set to fundamentally change our experience and understanding of monitoring, surveillance, and privacy. Backed by powerful industry interests, this technology is being integrated into many areas of society - from airports to shopping malls, classrooms to casinos. Despite the promise of security and efficiency, fears are growing that this technology is inherently biased, intrusive, and oppressive, with broad-ranging societal consequences.
In this timely book, Neil Selwyn and Mark Andrejevic provide a critical introduction to facial recognition. Outlining its complex social history and future technical forms, as well as its conceptual and technical underpinnings, the book considers the arguments being advanced for the continued uptake of facial recognition. In assessing these developments, the book argues that we are at the cusp of a generational shift in surveillance technology that will reconfigure our expectations of anonymity in shared and public spaces. Throughout, the book addresses a deceptively simple question: do we really want to live in a world where our face is our ID?
Facial Recognition is essential reading for students and scholars of media and communications studies, surveillance studies, criminology, and sociology, as well as for anyone interested in one of the defining technologies of our times.