Note — Feb 02, 2020

We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point.

Bruce Schneier with a sobering overview of the various forms of tracking, recognition, and surveillance being piled on to us. The current focus on facial recognition is something of a red herring, making some lose sight of the much more varied ways in which we are preyed upon. Society needs rules about what is permissible, when, how data can or cannot be combined and prevent discrimination.

These efforts are well intentioned, but facial recognition bans are the wrong way to fight against modern surveillance. Focusing on one particular identification method misconstrues the nature of the surveillance society we’re in the process of building. Ubiquitous mass surveillance is increasingly the norm. […]

In all cases, modern mass surveillance has three broad components: identification, correlation and discrimination. […]

There is an entire industry of data brokers who make a living analyzing and augmenting data about who we are — using surveillance data collected by all sorts of companies and then sold without our knowledge or consent.