AI is being widely deployed, sold to the public and users as being more reliable. We aren’t there yet, but security agencies and corporate interests are putting our safety and security at risk.
Masks and simple photographs are enough to fool some facial recognition technology, highlighting a major shortcoming in what is billed as a more effective security tool.
More alarming were the tests deployed at transportation hubs. At the self-boarding terminal in Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands’ largest airport, the Kneron team tricked the sensor with just a photo on a phone screen. The team also says it was able to gain access in this way to rail stations in China where commuters use facial recognition to pay their fare and board trains.
The transportation experiments raise concerns about terrorism at a time when security agencies are exploring facial recognition as a means of saving money and improving efficiency. In the case of the payment tablets, the ability to fool WeChat and AliPay with masks raises the specter of fraud and identity theft.