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Time to face up to our facial data

Jason Norwood-Young
Jason Norwood-Young
2021-03-05

Mozilla Fellow Deborah Raji and TechCongress Legislative Fellow Genevieve Fried have co-authored a paper looking back at the history of facial recognition datasets, and have highlighted a disturbing trend: We’ve gone from carefully curated datasets collected with the participants’ permission, to a free-for-all where millions of faces are scraped and used without consent or even knowledge. And the consent is just one of the problems — racism and sexism are creeping into the datasets, and their false positives can and do result in false arrests, particularly of black men. There’s an excellent article about the paper in the MIT Technology Review here, and the paper (which contains a fascinating history of facial recognition datasets) is available here.

Jason Norwood-Young
  • Journalist, developer, community builder, newsletter creator and international man of mystery.

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