In his article titled, “We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point,” Bruce Schneier shares information on the different types of identification technology, specifically facial recognition. Around the country, states have begun to ban facial recognition and more and more politicians have shown support for removing it as well. Schneier recognizes that these actions are coming from the right place, however, when looking at the big picture placing bans on facial recognition technology won’t be effective in solving the underlying problem. Schneier writes, ” Focusing on one particular identification method misconstrues the nature of the surveillance society we’re in the process of building.” With such an expansive and imposing issue there needs to be more done to prevent the effects of intrusive technological advances. Schneier introduces other forms of identification that do not get as much attention such as laser-based systems to recognize people’s heartbeats or walks. Another widely used technology is the MAC addresses broadcasted by our phones. Why are we focusing our time and efforts on banning one form of identification technology when surveillance systems can simply switch to another way of tracking us?
Schneier’s final argument is that the problem lies not in fact that the surveillance system exists but in fact that the people have no say in how it works and where the boundaries lie. We need to be able to give consent and know about what parts of our lives are private and what parts aren’t. This is especially important because of how the data that is collected influences the way we are treated: “In the future, we might be treated differently when we walk into a store, just as we currently are when we visit websites.” Before reading this article I had a limited understanding on the extent and mechanisms of the technology that is becoming a norm in our society and for the most part I don’t think it is common knowledge, which is dangerous. Moving forward, it will be crucial to educate the population on how our lives are effected by surveillance systems so that we may be able to prevent the development of a nearly dystopian society.