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Old 04-30-2017, 04:37 PM
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Is facial recognition set to explode as a security measure


With this story below it seems like the technology has come a long way if they are investing these kinds of dollars in it along with confidence that it works. Has affordable hard and software technology gotten to the point this will be affordable for everyday businesses like bars, banks, nightclubs etc?

UK cops will deploy facial recognition scanners for soccer championship

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When soccer fans flock to Cardiff for the Championís League Final on June 3rd, British police will be greeting them with a new facial recognition system. Motherboard reports that the South Wales police will be conducting a live pilot test of the new system on the day of the game, to be deployed at Cardiffís main train station as well as various areas surrounding Principality Stadium. As described in a public government tender, the system will scan for matches against 500,000 persons of interest already stored in a police database. The agency will pay 177,000 pounds for the pilot, or roughly $225,000.

The move comes amid a newfound push for facial recognition systems in the US, which has been met by significant criticism from privacy advocates. Customs and Border Protection is currently building a system that would use facial recognition to scan all US visa holders as they exit the country, a program that has been accelerated by President Trump. Critics worry the same systems could be integrated with law enforcement systems to turn airport visits into grounds for a law enforcement search
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A similar system is already in place for driverís license photos. The FBI currently has access to more than 173 million driverís license photographs, although very few of the subjects are suspected of a crime. The FBI has been criticized for failing to verify the accuracy of many of the photos included in the system, which critics say could lead to a suspect being falsely identified by a scan.
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Old 04-30-2017, 04:43 PM
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Boy, I totally read this thread's title the wrong way.

"Logging into Straight Dope Message Board...Facial recognition has FAILED...This computer will self-destruct in 10...9...8..."
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Old 04-30-2017, 05:33 PM
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Not really the same thing,, but my wife and I just returned from a trip oversea - and every time we went through customs, the first event in our doing so was our putting our passports into a scanner and then walking up to a camera which verified that we were indeed the person whose photograph was on our passport. Worked just fine every time for both my wife and I, but failed for some of our fellow passengers (who had to go into another queue).
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:02 PM
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Experiments with this sort of tech have been done in US sporting events over 10 years ago. Not with great success, but with some. But that was then and this is now.

I'm not sure what the OP is asking. A bar can't practically use a facial recognition system unless they have a database of faces to look at. Could police agencies put such systems in public spaces and scan crowds against their database of pictures of people with outstanding warrants? Technologically speaking the answer is "Sure." Could they subscribe to the FaceBook, etc., main feed and do the same thing with every picture posted by anyone? Sure. There's some false alarm rate, but maybe it's low enough to get a warrant from. Certainly close enough to do a "stop and ID check" on anyone the system alarms on. Again that's speaking to the tech, not the law.

I could see credit card companies going this way. A picture of the cardholder is in their database and any purchase is authenticated by scanning their face, not their card or chip or PIN. But as we've seen with the slow roll-out of chip readers in the US, it would take decades to retrofit all the retailers. OTOH, if the scanner is your phone instead of the merchant's terminal, a lot of the resistance melts away.

Privacy and public anonymity is so last century. Unfortunately.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 04-30-2017 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by astro View Post
Has affordable hard and software technology gotten to the point this will be affordable for everyday businesses like bars, banks, nightclubs etc?
Why would any private business want to do that, affordable or not? Why would a business owner want to say 'come into my store and risk getting arrested for something unrelated like an old parking ticket or back child support or bail jumping two years ago'? Furthermore, why would the business owner want to pay to drive away that business. If the government wants to do it at a government owned stadium or government owned airport etc, I understand, but other than a small handful, I don't think most business owners will be willing, at least not without a sizeable incentive.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:30 PM
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I could see credit card companies going this way. A picture of the cardholder is in their database and any purchase is authenticated by scanning their face, not their card or chip or PIN. But as we've seen with the slow roll-out of chip readers in the US, it would take decades to retrofit all the retailers.
Commenting only on this...I don't think it would be as bad as rolling out chips. Rolling out chips was (and still is) getting millions of merchants new hardware and training. Cardholders need new cards. I can't even imagine how much software had to be written (and re-written after the first roll out) and on top of that, keep in mind, we basically have two systems now, chips and magstripes and they have to work at the same time. There's a lot going on and there's all the security to worry about.

For what you want, it's just a matter of adding a camera and taking a picture, that's it. In fact, my credit card machine already has the ability. I don't use the feature, but it has a camera and it has an app to take a picture each time there's a transaction. The idea being that if there's a chargeback, it's a little more proof that the person that used the card is the card holder. The whole idea felt a little creepy to me and the handful of times we've had someone question a charge, I've just pulled it up on my security cameras.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:14 AM
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My Huaweii phone has this feature.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
...
For what you want, it's just a matter of adding a camera and taking a picture, that's it. In fact, my credit card machine already has the ability. I don't use the feature, but it has a camera and it has an app to take a picture each time there's a transaction. The idea being that if there's a chargeback, it's a little more proof that the person that used the card is the card holder. The whole idea felt a little creepy to me and the handful of times we've had someone question a charge, I've just pulled it up on my security cameras.
Bolding mine.

I'm not advocating for this. Not even a little bit. The OP asked what applications might be invented. And I offered one plausible idea.

As you say, verifying who actually is using a card has advantages for the merchants and the CC companies. The benefit to the consumer is mostly nil until and unless the regulations change to put liability for unauthorized use onto the consumer. At which point they'll be clamoring for some kind of additional proof of identity before use.

An interesting idea alongside this is using a phone as part of the authentication chain for ecommerce on a PC. i.e. you browse on your PC to Amazon to buy something but your CC won't go through unless you use your phone to snap a picture of your face as part of the process. With enough crypto-magic to ensure the picture is real and live, not fake or canned, that solves all the problems we still have today, even with chip or chip-and-PIN, over card-not-present transactions that are essentially anonymous.

Even absent facial recognition the phone can still be used as a two-factor token. e.g CC company sends magic code number to phone and user must key magic code number into website on PC to complete purchase. Now the bad guys have to steal not only your CC number but also your phone and its password.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 05-01-2017 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:01 AM
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I heard its a numbers issue.

If the thing fails even 1% of the time and its has to look at 10,000 people a day, that means 100 people will get detained for looking like someone else. And that is only if they have a near perfect picture of someone.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
I could see credit card companies going this way. A picture of the cardholder is in their database and any purchase is authenticated by scanning their face, not their card or chip or PIN. But as we've seen with the slow roll-out of chip readers in the US, it would take decades to retrofit all the retailers. OTOH, if the scanner is your phone instead of the merchant's terminal, a lot of the resistance melts away.
Where do you get the idea that the credit card companies have pictures of their cardholders? As far as I know, Chase has no idea what I look like.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:06 PM
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First, LSLGuy, I didn't mean to suggest that you wanted that, I was just replying to the concept, that's all.

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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Where do you get the idea that the credit card companies have pictures of their cardholders? As far as I know, Chase has no idea what I look like.
I was somewhat confused by the whole thing as well, until the second post (which was why I picked out only the one line to reply to). I think what he's saying is that you would upload a picture of yourself, then when you swipe your card, it would ping your phone, you'd let it take a picture and if everything is good, the charge goes through. If it doesn't recognize you OR your phone asks for your face and you didn't just use your card, you know something is wrong and you could decline the charge (probably a button on the app).

I want to say that some credit cards come with some type of authentication like that. At the very least I'm pretty sure at least one of my cards (Amex or Chase) lets me set a limit and if a charge is higher than that, it'll send an alert to my phone.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:38 PM
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For the technology, to work for crimefighting, it needs the have ready access to a picture database, ideally, the process is automated and the person is flagged by the system.For that, you need fast processing speed and data links. And then said system So it works as part of a system, not on its own.

They installed a system a couple of years ago here in Islamabad under a project called the "Safe city project" and other major cities are now installing similar systems. The police are a bit coy about its exact capabilities, but from what they have said in public, the system can flag a Person of interest. Its still the coppers on the ground who have to go and make the final determination.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:11 PM
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At my job they need people to do this. Trained, experienced people, not just monkeys that you paid $12 to stand around.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:18 PM
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Double post

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Old 05-01-2017, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Where do you get the idea that the credit card companies have pictures of their cardholders? As far as I know, Chase has no idea what I look like.
Actually, they do. They suggest you try a different hairstyle...

Though it's not from Chase, I do have a photo on my debit card. I also have facial recognition feature on my Galaxy S8 phone. Given that the phone only recognizes me about 40% of the time, I think we have a long way to go before the affordable tech is good enough for biometrics at point of sale.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:45 PM
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When I read the OP line, I immediately thought, "Well, what part of the hardware do you rig to explode, and how would it determine when to set off the detonator?"
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:06 PM
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Where do you get the idea that the credit card companies have pictures of their cardholders? As far as I know, Chase has no idea what I look like.
I don't think they do.

I'm saying that if/when face recognition became a standard part of credit card security then customers would provide "mug shots" to the CC companies and the companies would be willing & able to host them for later comparison.

I do know that since the 1980s at least some credit card vendors, e.g. Chase, offered to print your picture on the front of your credit card. Just a 1/2" square "thumbnail" at upper left or right overlaid on their normal logo'd card. The pic was taken at their branch.

The whole point was that merchants (live human cashiers) were expected to look at the pic and compare it to the person handing them the card. If they didn't match it was time for more questions, more ID, etc.

For whatever reason this option did not become popular. But I know people who're still carrying cards with their face printed on them. So clearly at least some issuers are still issuing such cards.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 05-01-2017 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:29 PM
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I was going to get one of those photo ID credit cards with a picture of a better-looking person on it.
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:40 PM
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At least somebody younger.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:13 PM
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Why would any private business want to do that, affordable or not? Why would a business owner want to say 'come into my store and risk getting arrested for something unrelated like an old parking ticket or back child support or bail jumping two years ago'? Furthermore, why would the business owner want to pay to drive away that business. If the government wants to do it at a government owned stadium or government owned airport etc, I understand, but other than a small handful, I don't think most business owners will be willing, at least not without a sizeable incentive.
Lots of incentive for businesses:
- system identifies person as a good customer who spends a lot & notifies store; they send an employee to greet customer by name, mention their last purchase, ask how they can help, steer customer to high-priced items.
- system identifies person as someone who was caught shoplifting 2 years ago (maybe even at a different branch of the chain): store sends security to eject them from the store.
- system identifies person as a fussy customer who often complains about her meal and wants it to be comp'ed: waiter is notified to be extra careful to clarify what she is ordering.
- system identifies customer as one who frequently returns items after 1 use: store prompts cashier to notify customer & print on receipt "goods sold as is -- no returns allowed".
- system identifies customer as one who gives poor tips: manager is notified to seat customer at poorest table location.
- system identifies customer as they walk into car dealer as one with bad credit or past repo's: salesman is notified to include additional markup in the price to cover higher risk to dealer.

Note that almost all of these help the business; not so much for the customer.

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Where do you get the idea that the credit card companies have pictures of their cardholders? As far as I know, Chase has no idea what I look like.
They can just buy them from Facebook; they have a massive database of pictures of people & their friends & relatives, and they have all been self-identified by the customers. Also, their agreement gives Facebook the right to use those pictures & sell them if they wish (with no compensation to the customer).

And many credit companies offer the option of 'personalizing' your credit card with your picture on the back. All CostCo cards are this way, for example.

And many states will sell their drivers license database, complete with pictures. And any arrest records with mug shots are public information, accessible to anyone. Ad red-light camera photos.

Lots of ways for companies to get a photo of people already. And they can easily build their own: camera takes pictures as customer enters the store, saves it for a while to match with camera picture of person paying at the register; most of them pay by check or credit card, so the store has them identified.

Last edited by Tim@T-Bonham.net; 05-01-2017 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:04 PM
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Lots of incentive for businesses:
- system identifies person as a good customer who spends a lot & notifies store; they send an employee to greet customer by name, mention their last purchase, ask how they can help, steer customer to high-priced items.
- system identifies person as someone who was caught shoplifting 2 years ago (maybe even at a different branch of the chain): store sends security to eject them from the store.
- system identifies person as a fussy customer who often complains about her meal and wants it to be comp'ed: waiter is notified to be extra careful to clarify what she is ordering.
- system identifies customer as one who frequently returns items after 1 use: store prompts cashier to notify customer & print on receipt "goods sold as is -- no returns allowed".
- system identifies customer as one who gives poor tips: manager is notified to seat customer at poorest table location.
- system identifies customer as they walk into car dealer as one with bad credit or past repo's: salesman is notified to include additional markup in the price to cover higher risk to dealer.

Note that almost all of these help the business; not so much for the customer.
Well, they help the good customers. Respectively:
- Customers who do lots of business gets better treatment.
- Customers who don't steal things get a better experience and lower costs.
- Customers who legitimately have very specific food requirements get more attentive waiters and customers who aren't trying to scam free meals get lower costs.
- Customers who tip well get better tables.
- Customers who don't abuse the return policy can get a better return policy because it doesn't have to account for the abusers.

The last one's going to happen anyway when they run the customer's credit. So arguably this could be a bonus for the customer with good credit and the customer with bad credit. They both get to waste less time filling out forms for a credit check.
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:08 AM
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I too was prepared to point out the silliness of some conspiracy theory that facial recognition systems were all wired with bombs...

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When I read the OP line, I immediately thought, "Well, what part of the hardware do you rig to explode, and how would it determine when to set off the detonator?"
My thought was "So, what? You fail the recognition check and a shaped charge in the machine blows your head off? And you think this is standard?"
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:26 PM
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Sorry to revive this old topic, but it appears to be the most recent thread. The NYT's "The Daily" podcast had a very interesting show about this yesterday:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/10/p...veillance.html

If you aren't into listening to podcasts, they also have a link to the transcript there.

Spoiler alert: If you've used social media much, they can figure out who you are very quickly.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
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Sorry to revive this old topic, but it appears to be the most recent thread. The NYT's "The Daily" podcast had a very interesting show about this yesterday:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/10/p...veillance.html

If you aren't into listening to podcasts, they also have a link to the transcript there.

Spoiler alert: If you've used social media much, they can figure out who you are very quickly.
In NJ the attorney general has suspended the use of that app by law enforcement until there is a legal review by his office. Before that it was our prosecutors office had already put out that facial recognition software could not be used as probable cause but could be used to develop a suspect that needed to be verified by other means.

Iím not a law-speak-guy but personally I donít see a legal problem from a law enforcement point of view. It uses pictures and information that the individual is putting out in public. I donít see how there is an expectation of privacy for pictures and information an individual voluntarily releases in public.

I do understand there are some civil challenges because social media companies want to be paid for using their content even when it is available to the public for free. Iím not sure of the precedent there.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:11 PM
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Another recent New York Times article, about the use of facial recognition software in public school security.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:05 PM
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It used to be eyes' iris patterns for solid ID - but which James Bond film had a black hat using a stolen eyeball?

I can't see mandatory chipping of humans - too insecure. Haven't stolen high-value dogs been re-chipped?

I don't know if he originated this idea but an element of John Varley's novel The Golden Globe has security ports at chokepoints like transport access taking a small flake of skin from a subject's hand for instant DNA analysis and identification. Spycam facial ID is a hands-off approach and yes, any system can be skirted. Even an un-avoidable ID system can and will be hacked. Anyway, a perfect ID systems provides for total government control. I won't visit China anytime soon but the US is going that way - so China will come to me. Yikes. Hope I'm dead by then.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:18 PM
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How accurate is it really? I had to turn off facial recognition in my Facebook account because it so often mistakenly tagged my son as me.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:23 PM
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local cops just pulled the plug on it

https://www.wral.com/raleigh-police-...tech/18933545/
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:35 PM
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How accurate is it really? I had to turn off facial recognition in my Facebook account because it so often mistakenly tagged my son as me.
Often not that accurate.

https://www.npr.org/2018/07/26/63272...crime-suspects


https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswi...our-technology
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Iím not a law-speak-guy but personally I donít see a legal problem from a law enforcement point of view. It uses pictures and information that the individual is putting out in public. I donít see how there is an expectation of privacy for pictures and information an individual voluntarily releases in public.
The premise of consent crumbles when you use facial recognition software in public schools.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/06/business/facial-recognition-schools.html

~Max
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:41 PM
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I am even more with voice recognition. My bank recognizes my voice when I phone, even after a stroke affected my diction. Ad this is one of the ten biggest banks in the world, with 20-million account holders.

My assmption is that it can't identify positively from millions in a database, but if it has two pictures of an identity claimant, it can say That's close enough.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:05 PM
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I am even more with voice recognition. My bank recognizes my voice when I phone, even after a stroke affected my diction. Ad this is one of the ten biggest banks in the world, with 20-million account holders.
I've worked in computer systems at a large bank system (not in this area, but fellow workers did).

I believe you are preliminarily identified by the phone you are calling from*, then the voice recognition software just compares your voice on the phone to the recorded voice for your account, without having to search the voice records for 20-million account holders. Just verifying that the voice on the phone is a better than x% match to one of a few records is a much simpler (and more accurate) task.

*Most customers only call the bank from a few phone numbers (home landline, cell phone, spouse's cell phone, etc.). These are stored with your account records. And the bank phone system uses caller id, so they can quickly find your account, as soon as they answer the call.

Last edited by Tim@T-Bonham.net; 02-12-2020 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:36 PM
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^^^^ I call using GooglePhone, from overseas, so they never get a repeat originating number. But the rest of your answer makes sense, and is as I suspected.

Last edited by jtur88; 02-12-2020 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:55 PM
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Why would any private business want to do that, affordable or not? Why would a business owner want to say 'come into my store and risk getting arrested for something unrelated like an old parking ticket or back child support or bail jumping two years ago'? Furthermore, why would the business owner want to pay to drive away that business.
Or even better (because these systems are horrible at recognizing black people and other people of color), "come into my store and risk getting arrested for something that some other person was accused of sometime between 2 and 20 years ago! You'll long for the days where we merely followed you around the store like a criminal!"
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:06 AM
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Last month we had an employee meeting at my work, and they announced that, since the fingerprint system was maxed out(?), they would be going to facial recognition for clocking in and out at each shift.

My face hasn't been scanned yet.
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