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Disclosive Ethics and Information Technology: Disclosing Facial Recognition Systems


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This paper is an attempt to present disclosive ethics as a framework for computer and information ethics – in line with the suggestions by Brey, but also in quite a different manner. The potential of such an approach is demonstrated through a disclosive analysis of facial recognition systems. The paper argues that the politics of information technology is a particularly powerful politics since information technology is an opaque technology – i.e. relatively closed to scrutiny. It presents the design of technology as a process of closure in which design and use decisions become black-boxed and progressively enclosed in increasingly complex socio-technical networks. It further argues for a disclosive ethics that aims to disclose the nondisclosure of politics by claiming a place for ethics in every actual operation of power – as manifested in actual design and use decisions and practices. It also proposes that disclosive ethics would aim to trace and disclose the intentional and emerging enclosure of politics from the very minute technical detail through to social practices and complex social-technical networks. The paper then proceeds to do a disclosive analysis of facial recognition systems. This analysis discloses that seemingly trivial biases in recognition rates of FRSs can emerge as very significant political acts when these systems become used in practice.
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Disclosive ethics and information technology: disclosing facial recognition systems
Lucas D. Introna
Center for the Study of Technology and Organisation, Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, LA1 4YX, UK
Abstract. This paper is an attempt to present disclosive ethics as a framework for computer and information
ethics – in line with the suggestions by Brey, but also in quite a different manner. The potential of such an
approach is demonstrated through a disclosive analysis of facial recognition systems. The paper argues that the
politics of information technology is a particularly powerful politics since information technology is an opaque
technology – i.e. relatively closed to scrutiny. It presents the design of technology as a process of closure in
which design and use decisions become black-boxed and progressively enclosed in increasingly complex socio-
technical networks. It further argues for a disclosive ethics that aims to disclose the nondisclosure of politics by
claiming a place for ethics in every actual operation of power – as manifested in actual design and use decisions
and practices. It also proposes that disclosive ethics would aim to trace and disclose the intentional and
emerging enclosure of politics from the very minute technical detail through to social practices and complex
social-technical networks. The paper then proceeds to do a disclosive analysis of facial recognition systems. This
analysis discloses that seemingly trivial biases in recognition rates of FRSs can emerge as very significant
political acts when these systems become used in practice.
Key words: biases, disclosive ethics, facial recognition systems, false positives, information technology, politics
It would not be controversial to claim that informa-
tion technology has become ubiquitous, invading all
aspects of human existence. Most everyday technol-
ogies depend on microprocessors for their ongoing
operation. Most organisations have become entirely
reliant on their information technology infrastruc-
ture. Indeed information technology seems to be a
very cost-efficient way to solve many of the problems
facing an increasingly complex society. One can
almost say it has become a default technology for
solving a whole raft of technical and social problems.
It have become synonymous with societies view of
modernisation and progress. In this paper we will
consider facial recognition systems as one example of
such a search for solutions.
However, this reliance on information technology
also brings with it many new and different kinds of
problems. In particular, for our purposes, ethical
concerns of a different order. We would argue that
information technology is mostly not evident, obvi-
ous, transparent or open to inspection by the ordin-
ary everyday person affected by it (Brey 2000). It is
rather obscure, subsumed and black-boxed in ways
that only makes its ‘surface’ available for inspection.
Imbedded in the software and hardware code of these
systems are complex rules of logic and categorisation
that may have material consequences for those using
it, or for the production of social order more gener-
ally (Introna and Nissenbaum 2000; Feenberg 1999;
Latour 1992). However, often these remain obscured
except for those experts that designed these systems –
and sometimes even not to them as we shall see in our
analysis of facial recognition systems below. Simply
put: they are most often closed boxes unavailable for
our individual or collective inspection and scrutiny.
This problem of ‘closure’ is made more acute by the
fact that these systems are often treated as neutral
tools that simply ‘do the job’ they were designed to
do. Differently put, we do not generally attribute
values and choices to tools or artefacts but rather to
people. Nevertheless, Winner (1980) and Latour
(1991, 1992) has shown convincingly that these tools
have inscribed in them value choices that may or may
not be very significant to those using them or affected
by them – i.e. software programmes are political in as
much as the rules of logic and categorisation they
depend on reflect or included curtain interests and
not others. Enclosed in these ‘boxes’ may be signifi-
cant political programmes, unavailable or closed off
from our critical and ethical gaze.
Paper prepared for the Technology and Ethics Workshop
at Twente
Ethics and Information Technology (2005) 7:75–86 Springer 2005
DOI 10.1007/s10676-005-4583-2
Many authors have realised this and have done a
variety of analysis to disclose the particular ways in
which these technologies have become enrolled in
various political programmes for the production of
social order (Callon 1986; Latour 1991, 1992; Law
1991). However, in this paper we would like to ask a
different question – the normative or ethical question.
How can we approach information technology as an
ethical problem? In response to this question we will
propose, in accord with Philip Brey (2000), but in a
rather different way, that the first principle of an
information technology ethics should be disclosure.
Thus, we want to propose a form of disclosive ethics
as a framework for information technology ethics.
We will aim to show how this may work in doing a
disclosive analysis of facial recognition systems.
Thus, this paper will have three parts: First, we will
discuss the question of the politics of information
technology in general; second, we will present our
understanding of disclosive ethics and its relation to
politics; and finally, we will do a disclosive analysis of
facial recognition systems.
The politics of (information) technology as closure
The process of designing technology is as much a
process of closing down alternatives as it is a process
of the opening up of possibilities. In order for the
technology to produce its intended outcome it needs
to enforce its ‘scripts’ on its users. Its designers has to
make assumptions about users and the use context
and often build these assumptions into the very
materiality of their artefacts. These artefacts then
function as sub-plots in larger social scripts aimed at
‘making society durable’ – plots (and sub-plots) that
are supposed to generate durable social order in
which some ways of being are privileged and others
are not. It is this closure that is an implicit part of
technology design and use that is of interest to us. Let
us consider this closure in more detail.
The micro-politics of the artefact
Technology is political (Winner 1980). By this we
mean that technology, by its very design, includes
certain interests and excludes others. We are not
suggesting that this is always an explicit politics. In
fact it is mostly implicit and part of a very mundane
process of trying to solve practical problems. For
example, the ATM bank machine assumes a partic-
ular person in front of it. It assumes a person that is
able to see the screen, read it, remember and enter a
PIN code, etc. It is not difficult to imagine a whole
section of society that does not conform with this
assumption. If you are blind, in a wheelchair, have
problem remembering, or unable to enter a PIN,
because of disability, then your interest in getting
access to your account will be excluded by the actual
design of the ATM. This ‘closure’ may not be obvious
to the designers of ATMs as they may see their task
as trying simply to solve a basic problem of making
banking transactions more efficient and accessible. In
their minds they often design for the ‘average’ cus-
tomer doing average transactions. And they are
mostly right – but if they are not, then their biases can
become profoundly stubborn. In some senses quite
irreversible. Where does the excluded go to appeal
when they are faced with a stubborn and mute object
such as an ATM? Maybe they can work around it, by
going into the branch for example. This may be
possible. However, this exclusion becomes all the
more significant if banks start to close branches or
charge for an over-the-counter transaction (as some
banks are doing). Thus, as the micro-politics of the
ATM becomes tied to, and multiplied through other
exclusionary social practice, trivial injustice soon
multiply into what may seem to be a coherent and
intentional strategy of exclusion (Introna and Nis-
senbaum 2000; Agre and Mailloux 1997). Yet there is
often nobody there that ‘authored’ it as such (Fou-
cault 1975; Kafka 1925).
Thus, the politics of technology is more than the
politics of this or that artefact. Rather these artefacts
function as nodes, or links, in a dynamic socio-tech-
nical network kept in place by a multiplicity of arte-
facts, agreements, alliances, conventions, translations,
procedures, threats, and so forth: in short by rela-
tionships of power and discipline (Callon 1986). Some
are stable, even irreversible; some are dynamic and
fragile. Analytically we can isolate and describe these
networks (see Law 1991 for examples). However, as
we survey the landscape of networks we cannot locate,
in any obvious manner, where they begin nor where
they end. Indeed we cannot with any degree of cer-
tainty separate the purely social from the purely
technical means from ends, cause from effect, designer
from user, winners from losers, and so on.
In these complex and dynamic socio-technical
networks ATMs, doors, locks, keys, cameras, algo-
rithms, etc. function as political ‘locations’ where
values and interests are negotiated and ultimately
‘inscribed’ into the very materiality of the things
themselves – thereby rendering these values and
interests more or less permanent (Akrich 1992;
Callon 1986; Latour 1991, 1992; Law 1991). Through
these inscriptions, which may be more or less suc-
cessful, those that encounter and use these inscribed
artefacts become, wittingly or unwittingly, enrolled
into particular programmes, or scripts for action.
D. I
Obviously, neither the artefacts nor those that draw
upon them simply except these inscriptions and en-
rolments as inevitable or unavoidable. In the flow of
everyday life artefacts often get lost, break down, and
need to be maintained. Furthermore, those that draw
upon them use them in unintended ways, ignoring or
deliberately ‘misreading’ the script the objects may
endeavour to impose. Nevertheless, to the degree that
these enrolments are successful, the consequences of
such enrolments can result in more or less profound
closures that ought to be scrutinised. We would claim
that the politics of artefacts is much more mundane
and much more powerful than most other politics, yet
it is often enclosed in such as way to evade our
scrutiny. This is particularly true for information
technology in which closure is much more powerful
as the closure is itself closed off.
On the silent politics of the software algorithm
Having argued that technology is political, we now
want to claim that the politics of information tech-
nology (in the form of software algorithms) is, in a
sense, of a different order (Graham and Wood 2003).
We want to contend that scrutinising information
technology is particularly problematic since infor-
mation technology, in particular algorithms, is what
we would term an opaque technology as opposed to a
transparent technology (Introna 1998). Obviously we
do not see this distinction as a dichotomy but rather
as a continuum. As an attempt to draw this distinc-
tion some aspects are highlighted in Table 1 below.
Facial recognition algorithms, which we will dis-
cuss below, is a particularly good example of a opa-
que technology. The facial recognition capability can
be imbedded into existing CCTV networks, making
its operation impossible to detect. Furthermore, it is
passive in its operation. It requires no participation
or consent from its targets – it is ‘non-intrusive,
contact-free process’ (Woodward et al. 2003: 7). Its
application is flexible. It can as easily be used by a
supermarket to monitor potential shoplifters (as was
proposed and later abandoned, by the Borders
bookstore), by casinos to track potential fraudsters,
by law enforcement to monitor spectators at a Super
Bowl match (as was done in Tampa, Florida), or used
for identifying ‘terrorists’ at airports (as is currently
in operation at various US airports). However, most
important of all is the obscurity of its operation.
Most of the software algorithms at the heart of
facial recognition systems (and other information
technology products) are propriety software objects.
Thus, it is very difficult to get access to them for
inspection and scrutiny. More specifically, however,
even if you can go through the code line by line, it is
impossible to inspect that code in operation,asit
becomes implemented through multiple layers of
translation for its execution. At the most basic level
we have electric currents flowing through silicon
chips, at the highest level we have programme
instructions, yet it is almost impossible to trace the
connection between these as it is being executed.
Thus, it is virtually impossible to know if the code
you inspected is the code being executed, when exe-
cuted. In short, software algorithms are operationally
It is our argument that the opaque and ‘silent’
nature of digital technology makes it particularly
difficult for society to scrutinise it. Furthermore, this
inability to scrutinise creates unprecedented oppor-
tunities for this silent and ‘invisible’ micro-politics to
become pervasive (Graham and Wood 2003). Thus, a
profound sort of micro-politics can emerge as these
opaque (closed) algorithms become enclosed in the
social-technical infrastructure of everyday life. We
tend to have extensive community consultation and
impact studies when we build a new motorway.
However, we tend not to do this when we install
CCTV in public places or when we install facial rec-
ognition systems in public spaces such as airports,
shopping malls, etc. To put is simply: most informed
people tend to understand the cost (economic, per-
sonal, social, environmental) of more transparent
technologies such as a motorway, or a motorcar, or
maybe even cloning. However, we would argue that
they do not often understand the ‘cost’ of the more
opaque information technologies that increasingly
pervade our everyday life. We will aim to disclose this
Table 1. Opaque versus transparent technology
Opaque technology is: Transparent technology is:
Embedded/hidden On the ‘surface’/conspicuous
Passive operation (limited user involvement, often automatic) Active operation (fair user involvement, often manual)
Application flexibility (open ended) Application stability (firm)
Obscure in its operation/outcome Transparent in its operation/outcome
Mobile (soft-ware) Located (hard-ware)
in the case of facial recognition systems below. Before
we do this we want to give an account of what we
mean by this ‘disclosure’ of disclosive ethics.
Disclosive ethics as the ‘other’ side of politics
Ethics is always and already the ‘other’ side of politics
(Critchley 1999). When we use the term ‘politics’
(with a small ‘p’) – as indicated above – we refer to
the actual operation of power in serving or enclosing
particular interests, and not others. For politics to
function as politics it seeks closure – one could say
‘enrolment’ in the actor network theory language.
Decisions (and technologies) need to be made and
programmes (and technologies) need to be imple-
mented. Without closure politics cannot be effective
as a programme of action and change. Obviously, if
the interests of the many are included – in the
enclosure as it were – then we might say that it is a
‘good’ politics (such as democracy). If the interests of
only a few are included we might say it is a ‘bad’
politics (such as totalitarianism). Nevertheless, all
political events of enclosing are violent as they always
include and exclude as their condition of operation.
It is the excluded – the other on the ‘outside’ as it
were – that is the concern of ethics. Thus, every
political action has, always and immediately, tied to
its very operation an ethical question or concern – it
is the other side of politics. When making this claim it
is clear that for us ethics (with a small ‘e’) is not
ethical theory or moral reasoning about how we
ought live (Caputo 1993). It is rather the question of
the actual operation of closure in which the interests
of some become excluded as an implicit part of the
material operation of power – in plans, programmes,
technologies and the like. More particularly, we are
concerned with the way in which the interest of
some become excluded through the operation of
closure as an implicit and essential part of the design
of information technology and its operation in social-
technical networks.
As those concerned with ethics, we can see the
operation of this ‘closure’ or ‘enclosure’ in many
related ways. We can see it operating as already
‘closed’ from the start – where the voices (or interests)
of some are shut out from the design process and use
context from the start. We can also see it as an
ongoing operation of ‘closing’ – where the possibility
for suggesting or requesting alternatives are pro-
gressively excluded. We can also see it as an ongoing
operation of ‘enclosing’ – where the design decisions
become progressively ‘black-boxed’ so as to be inac-
cessible for further scrutiny. And finally, we can see it
as ‘enclosed’ in as much as the artefacts become
subsumed into larger socio-technical networks from
which it becomes difficult to ‘unentangle’ or scruti-
nise. Fundamental to all these senses of closure is
‘‘the event of closure [as] a delimitation which
shows the double appartenance of an inside and an
outside...’’ (Critchley 1999: 63).
We need to acknowledge that politics – or the
operation of closure – is fundamental to the ongoing
production of social order. Decisions have to be
made, technologies have to be designed and imple-
mented, as part of the ongoing ordering of society.
Agendas cannot be kept open forever, designs cannot
be discussed and considered indefinitely. Thus, we are
not suggesting an end to politics as the operation of
closure. Closure is a pragmatic condition for life.
Equally, we are not arguing that the question of
ethics can, and ought to be, ‘divorced’ from politics.
Ethics cannot escape politics. The concern of ethics is
always and already also a political concern. To
choose, propose or argue for certain values – such as
justice, autonomy, democracy and privacy as sug-
gested by Brey (2000) – is already a political act of
closure. We may all agree with these values as they
might seem to serve our interests, or not. Neverthe-
less, one could argue that they are very anthropo-
centric and potentially excludes the claims of many
others – animals, nature, the environment, things, etc.
If ethics cannot escape politics then it is equally
true that politics cannot escape ethics. This is our
starting point – a powerful one in our view. The
design or use of information technology is not mor-
ally wrong as such. The moral wrongdoing is rather
the nondisclosure of the closure or the operation of
politics as if ethics does not matter – whether it is
intended or not. We know that power is most effec-
tive when it hides itself (Foucault 1975). Thus, power
has a very good reason to seek and maintain non-
disclosure. Disclosive ethics takes as its moral
imperative the disclosure of this nondisclosure – the
presumption that politics can operate without regard
to ethics – as well as the disclosure of all attempts at
closing or enclosing that are implicitly part of the
design and use of information technology in the
pursuit of social order.
Obviously at a curtain level design is rather a
pragmatic question. However, it is our contention
that many seemingly pragmatic or technical decisions
may have very important and profound consequences
for those excluded – as we will show below. This is
the important task of disclosive ethics. Not merely to
look at this or that artefact but to trace all the moral
implications (of closure) from what seems to be
simple pragmatic or technical decisions – at the level
of code, algorithms, and the like – through to social
practices, and ultimately, to the production of
D. I
particular social orders, rather than others. For dis-
closive ethics it is the way in which these seemingly
pragmatic attempts at closing and enclosing connect
together to deliver particular social orders that
excludes some and not others – irrespective of whe-
ther this was intended by the designers, or not. Indeed
it will be our argument that in the design of complex
socio-technical networks these exclusionary or
enclosing possibilities often do not surface as a con-
sideration when making this or that particular design
decision. Furthermore, these exclusionary possibili-
ties often emerge as a systemic effect or outcome with
no particular ‘author’ in charge of the script as such.
Indeed this is what we intend to show in the dis-
closing of facial recognition systems below. In sum-
mary, disclosive ethics operates with two principles:
(a) To disclose the nondisclosure of politics by
claiming a place for ethics as being always and
immediately present in every actual operation of
(b) To trace and disclose the intentional or uni-
ternational enclosure of values and interests from
every minute technical detail through to social
practices and complex social-technical networks.
We will now turn our attention to a disclosive anal-
ysis of facial recognition systems in order to disclose
its politics and the way in which these may emerge in
the social practices of securing identity.
Disclosing facial recognition systems
Getting a digital face: the facial recognition system
Figure 1 below depicts the typical way that a facial
recognition system (FRS) system can be made oper-
The first step is the capturing of a face image. This
would normally be done using a still or video camera.
As such it can be incorporated into existing ‘passive’
CCTV systems. However, locating a face image in the
field of vision is not a trivial matter at all. The
effectiveness of the whole system is dependent on the
quality of the captured face image. The face image is
passed to the recognition software for recognition
(identification or verification). This would normally
involve a number of steps such as normalising the
face image and then creating a ‘template’ of ‘print’ to
be compared to those in the database. If there is a
‘match’ then an alarm would solicit an operator’s
attention to verify the match and initiate the appro-
priate action. The match can either be a true match
which would lead to investigative action or it might
be a ‘false positive’ which means the recognition
algorithm made a mistake and the alarm would be
cancelled. Each element of the system can be located
at different locations within a network, making it easy
for a single operator to respond to a variety of
For our analysis we want to concentrate on steps
two and three of the system. We want to scrutinise
the FR algorithms, the image database (also called
the gallery) and the operators. At each of these points
important decisions are made which may have
important ethical and political implications.
Facial recognition algorithms and reduction
Research in software algorithms for facial recogni-
tion has been ongoing for the last 30 years or so
(Gross et al. 2001a). However, advances in informa-
tion technology and statistical methods have given
impetus to this development with seemingly excellent
recognition results and low error rates – at least in
ideal laboratory conditions. It is possible to identify
Figure 1. Overview of FRS (Source: Face Recognition, Vendor Test 2002).
two main categories of algorithms according to Gross
et al. (2001a):
The image template algorithms. These algorithms
use a template-based method to calculate the corre-
lation between a face and one or more standard
templates to estimate the face identity. These stan-
dard templates tend to capture the global features of
a gallery of face images. Thus, the individual face
identity is the difference between (or deviation from)
the general or ‘standard’ face. This is an intuitive
approach since we, as humans tend to look for dis-
tinctive features (or differences from the general)
when we identify individuals. Some of the methods
used are: Support Vector Machines (SVM), Principal
Component Analysis (PCA), Neural Networks,
Kernel Methods, etc. The most commercially known
template based algorithm is the MIT Bayesian Ei-
genface technique, which has been developed with the
PCA method. During various tests conducted in
1996, its performance was consistently near the top
compared to other available at the time.
The geometry feature-based algorithms. These
methods capture the local facial features and their
geometric relationships. They often locate anchor
points at key facial features (eyes, nose, mouth, etc.),
connect these points to form a net and then measure
the distances and angles of the net to create a unique
face ‘print’. The most often cited of these is the
technique known as Local Feature Analysis (LFA),
which is used in the Identix (formerly known as
Visionics) face recognition system called FaceIt. The
LFA method, in contrast to the PCA technique, is
less sensitive to variations in lighting, skin tone, eye
glasses, facial expression, hair style, and individual’s
pose up to 35 degrees.
The commonality in both of these groups of
techniques is the issue of reduction. In order to be
efficient in processing and storage the actual face
image gets reduced to a numerical representation (as
small as 84 bytes or 84 individual characters in the
case of FaceIt). With this reduction certain infor-
mation is disregarded (as incidental or irrelevant) at
the expense of others. It is here that we need to focus
our analysis. What is the consequences of the process
of reduction. It would be best to understand this
through some detailed study of the logic and opera-
tion of these algorithms in diverse settings with
diverse databases. This has not yet being done (not
even in the Facial Recognition Vendor Tests of 2002
(FRVT 2002) which has been the most comprehen-
sive thus far). Nevertheless, with our limited knowl-
edge we can make some logical conclusions and then
see how these may play out in the FRVT 2002 eval-
uations. How will the reduction, effect the perfor-
mance of these algorithms?
Template based algorithms. In these algorithms
certain biases become built into the standard
template. It obviously depends on the gallery used
to create the standard template as well as the range
of potential variations within a population. For
example, because minorities tend to deviate the
most from the standard template they might
become easier to recognise.
Feature based algorithms. These algorithms do not
have an initial bias. However, because of the
reduction the ‘face prints’ generated are in close
proximity to each other. Thus, as the gallery
database increases more and more face prints are
generated in ever diminishing proximity, thereby
making the discrimination required for the recog-
nition task more difficult. Therefore, the operation
of the system deteriorates rapidly as the database
increases (this is also true for template based
algorithms). It also makes the system dependent
on good quality face images. The implication of
this is that the system will operate at its best with a
small database and good quality face capture, such
as an operator assisted face capture (reintroducing
the operator bias). In addition to this, it will tend
to be better at identifying those that are more
distinctive, or less similar, to those already in the
database (such as minorities).
Thus, in both cases we would expect some form of
bias to emerge as a result of the reduction. Is this
conclusion borne out by the performance of these
algorithms in the FRVT? Let us now consider the
results of these evaluations.
The evaluations: reduction, operation and error
The most significant evaluation of FRSs happened
with the Facial Recognition Vendor Tests of 2002
(Phillips et al. 2003). These test were independent
tests sponsored by a host of organizations such as
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA), the Department of State and the Federal
Bureau of Investigation. This evaluation followed in
the footsteps of the earlier FRVT of 2000 and the
FERET evaluations of 1994, 95 and 96. In the FRVT
2002 ten FRS vendors participated in the evaluations.
The FRVT of 2002 were more significant than any of
the previous evaluations because of:
The use of a large database (37,437 individuals)
The use of a medium size database of outdoor and
video images
Some attention given to demographics
The large database (referred to as the HCInt data set)
is a subset of a much larger database which was
D. I
provided by the Visa Services Directorate, Bureau of
Consular Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. The
HCInt data set consisted of 121,589 images of 37,437
individuals with at least three images of each person.
All individuals were from the Mexican non-immigrant
visa archive. The images were typical visa application
type photographs with a universally uniform back-
ground, all gathered in a relatively consistent manner.
The medium size database consisted of a number
outdoor and video images from various sources.
Figure 2 below gives an indication of the images in
the database. The top row contains images taken
indoors and the bottom contains outdoor images
taken on the same day. Notice the quality of the
outdoor images. The face is consistently located in
the frame and similar in orientation to the indoor
For the identification task an image of an
unknown person is provided to a system (assumed to
be in the database). The system then compares the
unknown image (called the probe image) to the
database of known people. The results of this com-
parison are then presented by the system, to an
operator, in a ranked listing of the top n‘candidates’
(referred to as the ‘rank’, typically anywhere from 1
to 50). If the correct image is somewhere in the top n,
then the system is considered to have performed the
identification task correctly. Figure 3 below indicates
the performance at rank 1, 10 and 50 for the three top
performers in the evaluation.
With the very good images from the large database
(37,437 images) the identification performance of the
best system at rank one is 73% at a false accept rate
of 1%. There is a tradeoff between the recognition
rates and the level of ‘false accepts’ (incorrect iden-
tification) one is prepared to accept, the false accept
rate. If you are prepared to accept a higher false
accept rate then the recognition performance can go
up. However, this will give you more cases of false
identification to deal with. This rate is normally a
threshold parameter that can be set by the operators
of the system.
What are the factors that can detract from this
‘ideal’ performance? There might be many. The FRVT
2002 considered three of the most important ones:
Indoor versus outdoor images
The time delay between the database image and
the probe image
The size of the database
The identification performance drops dramatically
when outdoor images are used – in spite of the fact
that they can be judge as relatively good – as indi-
cated above. One would not expect a typical video
camera to get this quality of image all the time. For
the best systems the recognition rate for faces cap-
tured outdoors (i.e. less than ideal circumstances) was
only 50% at a false accept rate of 1%. Thus, as the
report concluded: ‘‘face recognition from outdoor
imagery remains a research challenge area.’’ The
main reason for this problem is that the algorithm
cannot distinguish between the change in tone, at the
Figure 2. Indoor and outdoor images from the medium
data base. (from FRVT2002 report, p. 16).
Figure 3. Performance at rank 1, 10 and 50 for the three top performers in the evaluation (from FRVT 2002, Overview and
Summary, p. 9).
pixel level, caused by a relatively dark shadow, versus
such a change caused by a facial feature. As such it
starts to code shadows as facial features. The impact
of this on the identification may be severe if it hap-
pens to be in certain key areas of the face.
As one would expect, the identification perfor-
mance also decreases as time laps increases between
the acquisition of the database image and the newly
captured probe image presented to a system. FRVT
2002 found that for the top systems, performance
degraded at approximately 5% points per year. It is
not unusual of the security establishment to have a
relatively old photograph of a suspect. Thus, a two
year old photograph will take 10% off the identifi-
cation performance. A study by the US National
Institute of Standards and Technology found that
two sets of mugshots taken 18 months apart pro-
duced a recognition rate of only 57% (Brooks 2002).
Gross et al. (2001: 17) found an even more dramatic
deterioration. In their evaluation, the performance
dropped by 20% in recognition rate for images just
two weeks apart. Obviously these evaluations are not
directly comparable. Nevertheless, there is a clear
indication that there may be a significant deteriora-
tion when there is a time gap between the database
image and the probe image.
What about the size of the database? For the best
system, ‘‘the top-rank identification rate was 85% on
a database of 800 people, 83% on a database of
1,600, and 73% on a database of 37,437. For every
doubling of database size, performance decreases by
two to three overall percentage points’’ (Phillips et al.
2003: 21). What would this mean for extremely large
databases? For example, the UK fingerprint database
consists of approximately 5.5 million records. If one
had a similar size ‘mugshot’ database how will the
algorithms perform in identifying a probe image in
that database? If one takes the decrease to be 2.5%
for every doubling of the database, and use 73% at
37,437 as the baseline, then one would expect the
identification performance to be approximately 55%
in ideal conditions and as low as 32% in less than
ideal conditions.
To conclude this discussion we can imagine a very
plausible scenario where we have a large database,
less than ideal image due to factors such as variable
illumination, outdoor conditions, poor camera angle,
etc. and the probe image is relatively old, a year or
two. Under these conditions the probability to be
recognized is very low, unless one sets the false accept
rate to a much higher level, which means that there is
a risk that a high number of individual may be sub-
jected to scrutiny for the sake of a few potential
identifications. What will be the implications of this
for practice? We will take up this point again below.
Obviously, we do not know how these factors would
act together and they are not necessarily cumulative.
Nevertheless, it seems reasonable to believe that there
will be some interaction that would lead to some
cumulative affect.
Such a conclusion can make sense of the Tampa
Police Department case reported by ACLU (Stanley
and Steinhardt 2002) as well as the Palm Beach
International Airport also reported by the ACLU. In
the Tampa case the system was abandoned because of
all the false positive alarms it generated. As far as it
could be ascertained it did not make one single
positive identification. In the Palm Beach Airport
case the system achieved a mere 47% correct identi-
fications of a group of 15 volunteers using a database
of 250 images (Brooks 2002). In Newham, UK, the
police admitted that the FaceIt system had, in its
two years of operation, not made a single positive
identification, in spite of working with a small data-
base. One could argue that there might not have been
the potential for a match to be made as none of the
individual in the database actually appeared in the
street. Nevertheless, the system could not identify a
Guardian journalist, placed in the database, that
intentionally presented himself in the two zones
covered by the system (Meek 2002). These cases
indicate the complexity of real world scenarios. We
now want to move to the focal concern of this paper
namely the question of biases in the algorithms
Reduction and biased code
The most surprising outcome – for those involved –
of the FRVT 2002 is the realization that the algo-
rithms displayed particular identification biases.
First, recognition rates for males were higher than
females. For the top systems, identification rates for
males were 6–9% points higher than that of females.
For the best system, identification performance on
males was 78% and for females was 79%. Second,
recognition rates for older people were higher than
younger people. For 18–22 year olds the average
identification rate for the top systems was 62%, and
for 38–42 year olds was 74%. For every 10 years
increase in age, on average performance increases
approximately 5% through to age 63. Unfortunately,
they could not check race as the large data set con-
sisted of mostly Mexican non-immigrant visa appli-
cants. However, research by Givens et al. (2003),
using PCA algorithms, has confirmed the biases in
the FRVT 2002 (except for the gender bias) and also
found a significant race bias. This was confirmed
using balanced databases and controlling for other
factors. They concluded that: ‘‘Asians are easier [to
D. I
recognize] than whites, African-Americans are easier
than whites, other race members are easier than
whites, old people are easier than young people, other
skin people are easier to recognize than clear skin
people...’’ (p. 8). Their results are indicated in
Figure 4 below.
These results were also found in another context
by Furl, Phillips and O’Toole (2002) in their study of
recognition performance by 13 different algorithms.
One can legitimately ask whether these differences,
probably in the order of 5–10%, really makes a dif-
ference? Are they not rather trivial? We would argue
that taken by themselves they may seem rather trivial.
However, as we argued earlier on, it is when these
trivial differences become incorporated into a net-
work of practices that they may become extremely
important. This is what we now want to explore: the
politics of the digital face as it becomes imbedded in
Closure and the ethics of the digital face
FRSs: efficient, effective and neutral
Many security analysts see FRSs as the ideal bio-
metric to deal with the new emerging security envi-
ronment (post 11 September). They claim that it is
efficient (FaceIt only requires a single 733 Mhz Pen-
tium PC to run) and effective, often quoting close to
80% recognition rates from the FRVT 2002 evalua-
tion while leaving out of the discussion issues of the
quality of the images used in the FRVT, the size of
the database, the elapsed time between database
image and probe image, etc. But most of all they
claim that these systems ‘‘performs equally well on all
races and both genders. Does not matter if popula-
tion is homogeneous or heterogeneous in facial
appearance’’ (Faceit technical specification
). This
claim is not only made by the suppliers of FRSs such
as Identix and Imagis Technologies. It is also echoed
in various security forums: ‘‘Face recognition is
completely oblivious to differences in appearance as a
result of race or gender differences and is a highly
robust Biometrics’’
Even the critical scholar Gary
Marx (1995: 238) argued that algorithmic surveillance
provides the possibility of eliminating discrimination.
The question is not whether these claims are correct
or not. One could argue that in a certain sense they
are correct. The significance of these claims is the way
they frame the technology. It presents the technology
itself as neutral and unproblematic. More than this it
presents the technology as a solution to the problem
of terrorism. Atick of Identix claimed, in the wake of
the 9/11 attacks, that with FaceIt the US has the
‘‘ability to turn all of these cameras around the
country into a national shield’’ (O’Harrow 2001). He
might argue that in the face of terrorism ‘minor’
injustices (biases in the algorithms) and loss of pri-
vacy is a small price to pay for security. This may be
so, although we would disagree.
Nevertheless, our main concern is that these
arguments present the technical artefacts in isolation
with disregard to the socio-technical networks within
which they will become enclosed. As argued above, it
is not just the micro-politics of the artefact that is the
issue. It is how these become multiplied and magni-
fied as they become tied to other social practices that
is of significance. We need to disclose the ‘network
effects’, as it were, of the micro-politics of artefacts.
This is especially so for opaque digital technology.
There is every reason to believe that the silent and
non-invasiveness of FRSs make it highly desirable as
a biometric for digital surveillance. It is therefore
important that this technology becomes disclosed for
its potential politics in the socio-technical network of
digital surveillance. Thus, not just as isolated soft-
ware objects as was done in the FRVTs but in its
multiplicity of implementations and practices. We
would claim it is here where the seemingly trivial
exclusions may become very important as they
become incorporated into actual practices.
FRSs and the production of suspects
There is an urgent need for an in-depth study of FRSs
in practice (as has been done with CCTV by Norris
and Armstrong (1999) and others). However, since we
currently only have a limited number of systems in
operation and due to the sensitivity of these imple-
mentations it is unlikely that we would be able to do
so in the near future. Thus, in the face of this limita-
tion, we propose to outline what we consider to be a
highly probable scenario of how these digital closures
may become incorporated into other practices that
would render these seemingly trivial biases significant.
Based on the FRVT of 2002 we know that,
although FRSs have the capability to achieve a 70–
85% accuracy rate, this is only in ideal circumstances.
The system’s performance degrades significantly in an
uncontrolled ‘face-in-the-crowd’ environment, with a
large database, and where there is an elapsed time
between the database image and the probe image. This
would seem to us to be a usual rather than an unusual
situation. What will happen if the system’s perfor-
mance degrades under these rather usual conditions?
2 http://
We would propose that two possibilities are most
likely. First, it is possible that the operators will
become so used to false positives that they will start
to treat all alarms as false positives thereby rendering
the system useless. Alternatively, they may deal with
it by increasing the identification threshold (request-
ing the system to reduce the number of false posi-
tives). This will obviously also increase the false
negatives, thereby raising all sorts of questions about
the value of the system into question. However, more
important to us, with an increased threshold small
differences in identifiability (the biases outlined
above) will mean that those that are easier to identify
by the algorithms (African-Americans, Asians, dark
skinned persons and older people) will have a greater
probability of being scrutinised. If the alarm is an
actual positive recognition then one could argue that
nothing is lost. However, it also means that these
groups would be subjected to a higher probability of
scrutiny as false positives, i.e. mistaken identity.
Moreover, we would propose that this scrutiny will
be more intense as it would be based on the
assumption that the system is working at a higher
level and therefore would be more accurate. In such a
case existing biases, against the usual suspects (such
as minorities), will tend to come into play (Norris and
Armstrong 1999). The operators may even override
their own judgements as they may think that the
system under such high conditions of operation must
‘see something’ that they do not. This is highly likely
as humans are not generally very good at facial rec-
ognition in pressurised situations as was indicated in
a study by Kemp et al. (1997). Thus, under these
conditions the bias group (African-Americans,
Asians, dark skinned persons and older people) may
be subjected to disproportionate scrutiny, thereby
creating a new type of ‘digital divide’ (Jupp in
Graham and Wood, 2003: 234).
How likely is this scenario? We believe it to be
more likely than we presume. We have only the fol-
lowing anecdotal evidence reported in the Discover
Magazine of an installation at the Fresno Yosemite
International Airport to suggest:
‘‘[The system] generates about one false positive for
every 750 passengers scanned, says Pelco vice
president Ron Cadle. Shortly after the system was
installed, a man who looked as if he might be from
the Middle East set the system off. ‘‘The gentleman
was detained by the FBI, and he ended up spending
the night,’’ says Cadle. ‘‘We put him up in a hotel,
and he caught his flight the next day.’’ (Garpinkle
2002, p. 19 – emphasis added)
To produce only one false positive per 700 passengers
the system had to operate with a very restricted false
positive rate, thereby suggesting that an alarm must
‘mean something’. Notice that one of the false posi-
tives was a man supposedly from ‘Middle Eastern’
Figure 4. From Givens et al. (2003) indicating which factor make it harder or easier to correctly identify a probe image
presented to a system.
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origin. The individual was detained and questioned
by the FBI because he ‘‘looked as if he might be from
the Middle East’’ in spite of the fact that he was
obviously a false positive. There could be many
explanations for this action. Nevertheless, it is likely
that they may have decided to detain him ‘just in
case’ the system saw something they did not see. This
is likely in a situation where a human operator must
make a decision. We know from research that
humans find it very difficult to identify individual
from other ethnic groups (Kemp et al. 1997), exactly
the group that we would expect to emerge as likely
false positives. In these moments of uncertainty, the
FRSs may be taken as more authoritative than
the humans involved. This case clearly demonstrates
the scenario we outline above. Our disclosive analysis
has demonstrated that seemingly trivial differences in
recognition rates, within the algorithm, can indeed
have important political (ethical) implications for
some when it becomes incorporated into a whole set
of socio-technical surveillance practices.
One might imagine that in an environment where
there is an acute sense of vulnerability it would not be
unreasonable to store these false positives in a data-
base ‘just in case’ (Lyon 2001, 2002). These false
positive may then become targets for further scrutiny.
Why? Just because they have features that make them
more distinctive. We are not saying that this will
happen. We are merely trying to indicate how seem-
ingly trivial ‘technical issues’ can add up to strong
political ideologies at the expense of some for the
sake of others. This is the issue of the politics – and
ethics – of FRSs. This is particularly dangerous pol-
itics in the case of silent and opaque technologies
such as FRSs. Obviously more in-depth study of
actual installations are required.
There is no doubt in our minds that facial bio-
metric is a very important part of the future security
infrastructure. Kopel and Krause (2003) reports that:
‘‘As of June 2001 the Departments of Justice and
Defence had given about $21.3 million and $24.7
million, respectively, to the research and development
of FRSs.’’ Its efficiency, ease of implementation and
invisible nature make it and ideal biometric. We
believe, we have demonstrated that there are many
aspects of this opaque technology that still needs to
be disclosed (see Agre 2003 for more indications of
what might be disclosed).
Nevertheless, this disclosive analysis of facial rec-
ognition systems is not complete. We have not looked
at those that have been excluded from the start. For
example, the fact that most of the research in FRSs
are sponsored by US government agencies, who has
been excluded through this mechanism? We have not
considered the way in which equally valid other
alternatives have become progressively excluded.
What other ways of securing is possible? More
importantly, we have not disclosed ourselves as those
doing the disclosing. How does this analysis itself
enclose? Indeed, disclosive ethics is an infinite task.
We believe it is worth doing even if there is no clear
guidelines and no clear end. This is in our view not a
flaw but rather its strength. It expects every closure to
be disclosed irrespective of where it emanates from –
that is why it is disclosive.
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... In this way, we drew from a phenomenologically oriented and broadened understanding of technology that has become increasingly important in recent years [33][34][35]. In contrast, our normative perspective was guided by the concept of ethics of disclosure [36], that is, ethics as an undertaking to reveal the influence of implicit concepts and values in technological artifacts to allow for their critical reflection from a normative point of view [36][37][38]. On the basis of these considerations, we will shortly introduce the 2 algorithms-the algorithm of the Google Apple Exposure Notification Framework (GAEFN), as exemplified by the German Corona Warn App (CWA), and the Computation of Infection Risk via Confidential Locational Entries (CIRCLE) algorithm [39][40][41] from Japan. ...
... Answering this question and reflecting on it from a normative perspective is part of what can be called ethics of disclosure [36][37][38]. Therefore, we based our study on the observation that many technical operations tend to become or are, in principle, opaque, as they include operations, systems, or parts that are very complex and difficult to understand [37,38]. ...
... Answering this question and reflecting on it from a normative perspective is part of what can be called ethics of disclosure [36][37][38]. Therefore, we based our study on the observation that many technical operations tend to become or are, in principle, opaque, as they include operations, systems, or parts that are very complex and difficult to understand [37,38]. In particular, digital technologies have a tendency to linger at the border of subject and environment and to constantly sink below the phenomenological threshold of perceptibility, either by becoming embodied or by becoming part of the environmental background [43]. ...
Full-text available
Background: Digital contact tracing algorithms (DCTAs) have emerged as a means of supporting pandemic containment strategies and protecting populations from the adverse effects of COVID-19. However, the impact of DCTAs on users’ privacy and autonomy has been heavily debated. Although privacy is often viewed as the ability to control access to information, recent approaches consider it as a norm that structures social life. In this regard, cultural factors are crucial in evaluating the appropriateness of information flows in DCTAs. Hence, an important part of ethical evaluations of DCTAs is to develop an understanding of their information flow and their contextual situatedness to be able to adequately evaluate questions about privacy. However, only limited studies and conceptual approaches are currently available in this regard. Objective: This study aimed to develop a case study methodology to include contextual cultural factors in ethical analysis and present exemplary results of a subsequent analysis of 2 different DCTAs following this approach. Methods: We conducted a comparative qualitative case study of the algorithm of the Google Apple Exposure Notification Framework as exemplified in the German Corona Warn App and the Japanese approach of Computation of Infection Risk via Confidential Locational Entries (CIRCLE) method. The methodology was based on a postphenomenological perspective, combined with empirical investigations of the technological artifacts within their context of use. An ethics of disclosure approach was used to focus on the social ontologies created by the algorithms and highlight their connection to the question about privacy. Results: Both algorithms use the idea of representing a social encounter of 2 subjects. These subjects gain significance in terms of risk against the background of a representation of their temporal and spatial properties. However, the comparative analysis reveals 2 major differences. Google Apple Exposure Notification Framework prioritizes temporality over spatiality. In contrast, the representation of spatiality is reduced to distance without any direction or orientation. However, the CIRCLE framework prioritizes spatiality over temporality. These different concepts and prioritizations can be seen to align with important cultural differences in considering basic concepts such as subject, time, and space in Eastern and Western thought. Conclusions: The differences noted in this study essentially lead to 2 different ethical questions about privacy that are raised against the respective backgrounds. These findings have important implications for the ethical evaluation of DCTAs, suggesting that a culture-sensitive assessment is required to ensure that technologies fit into their context and create less concern regarding their ethical acceptability. Methodologically, our study provides a basis for an intercultural approach to the ethics of disclosure, allowing for cross-cultural dialogue that can overcome mutual implicit biases and blind spots based on cultural differences.
... On the other hand, machines are considered opaque when they render their functioning unknowable to human. For Introna, an opaque technology has uses that are obscure and passive functionality that allows limited operation by the user [15]. It is difficult to trace the operation from the instruction to the decision process in such systems. ...
... Transparency, on the other hand, entails knowability and scrutiny in terms of humans. A transparent technology has its operation on the surface, is in use with fair guidelines, has application stability, and is transparent in its outcome and use [15]. Transparent technology is both phenomenologically and procedurally transparent. ...
... The opacity-transparency relationship is not dichotomous as an either/or relation [15] but rather exists on a spectrum with varied degrees of transparency and opacity of the machine and the human. We call this the opacity spectrum. ...
Human opacity is the intrinsic quality of unknowability of human beings with respect to machines. The descriptive relationship between humans and machines, which captures how much information one can gather about the other, can be explicated using an opacity-transparency relationship. This relationship allows us to describe and normatively evaluate a spectrum of opacity where humans and machines may be either opaque or transparent. In this paper, we argue that the advent of Affective Computing (AC) has begun to shift the ideal position of humans on this spectrum towards greater transparency, while much of this technology is shifting towards opacity. We explore the implications of this shift with regard to the affective information of humans and how the threat to human opacity by AC systems has various adverse repercussions, such as infringement of one's autonomy, deception, manipulation, and increased anxiety. There are also distributive consequences that expose vulnerable groups to unjustified burdens and reduce them to mere profiles. We further provide an assessment of current AC technology, which follows the descriptive relationship between humans and machines from the lens of opacity and transparency. Finally, we foresee and address three possible objections to our claims. These are the beneficence of AC systems, their relation to privacy, and their restrictive capacity to capture human affects. Through these arguments, the paper aims to bring attention to the ontological relationship between humans and machines from the perspective of opacity and transparency while emphasizing on the gravity of the ethical concerns raised by their threat to human opacity.
... Accordingly, technologies are materialized artifacts created in complex processes in which a multitude of value-laden decisions are made. This allows to view their production as a process of closure or enclosing, as a way of producing order and making it inaccessible at the same time (Introna 2005). With regard to CAIs, this could apply for example to the materialization of problematic power structures reproduced in the way a CAI structures dialogue, or in the problematic inequalities when the device reacts differently toward different groups or persons. ...
... As facial recognition technology (FRT) has grown, so have concerns about its use. Questions were raised about ethics early 4,5 and are now widespread. 6,7,8,9 There are also calls for increased regulation of the technology. ...
Power, accountability, and responsibility for facial recognition technology require us to think carefully and methodically about the ethically significant interests of stakeholders. We suggest two simple models to help guide appropriate analysis when concerns arise.
... Further well-established ones look at the consequences of actions for this evaluation (Bentham 1789;Mill 1861) or the character of the agent (Aristotle 2007). There are furthermore numerous more recent theoretical positions specifically aimed at computing and information technologies (Bynum 2001;Floridi 1999;Introna 2005), including recent attempts to formulate ethical positions specifically for AI (AI HLEG 2019; Dignum 2019). The dominant conceptual approach to the ethics of AI, however, is not to use philosophical theories but to refer to mid-level principles and guidelines . ...
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This open access book contributes to the discourse of Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) from an African perspective. It is a unique collection that brings together prominent AI scholars to discuss AI ethics from theoretical and practical African perspectives and makes a case for African values, interests, expectations and principles to underpin the design, development and deployment (DDD) of AI in Africa. The book is a first in that it pays attention to the socio-cultural contexts of Responsible AI that is sensitive to African cultures and societies. It makes an important contribution to the global AI ethics discourse that often neglects AI narratives from Africa despite growing evidence of DDD in many domains. Nine original contributions provide useful insights to advance the understanding and implementation of Responsible AI in Africa, including discussions on epistemic injustice of global AI ethics, opportunities and challenges, an examination of AI co-bots and chatbots in an African work space, gender and AI, a consideration of African philosophies such as Ubuntu in the application of AI, African AI policy, and a look towards a future of Responsible AI in Africa. This is an open access book.
... Further well-established ones look at the consequences of actions for this evaluation (Bentham 1789;Mill 1861) or the character of the agent (Aristotle 2007). There are furthermore numerous more recent theoretical positions specifically aimed at computing and information technologies (Bynum 2001;Floridi 1999;Introna 2005), including recent attempts to formulate ethical positions specifically for AI (AI HLEG 2019; Dignum 2019). The dominant conceptual approach to the ethics of AI, however, is not to use philosophical theories but to refer to mid-level principles and guidelines . ...
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Robots are moving closer to human beings especially in work environments. The entry of co-bots into workspaces raises many questions. One of the key questions surrounds the likely relationship between the co-bots and their co-workers. Are co-bots to be considered as colleagues or are they tools? What ethical issues emerge from this consideration in the context of Kenyan workspaces? This chapter discusses these questions in the Kenyan context. Data for the chapter was collected using qualitative interviews with 20 data scientists selected through information-oriented purposive sampling. The chapter concludes that there are six ethical issues which can influence the perceptions of co-bots by data scientists in Kenya. These include the concept of work as a divine gift to humanity which cannot be shared with machines; the notion that treating co-bots as legal persons equates them to human beings which is viewed as demeaning to humanity; the fear that co-bots will dominate and eventually replace humans in ordinary workspaces thereby denying the latter not just an opportunity to work but to livelihood too; fear of unintended social consequences of “anthropomorphisation”; lack of trust for machines created by limited humans to offer unlimited services and companionship; and discomfort with exotic robots entering professional but also indigenous spaces. Until these ethical issues are addressed comprehensively, it is unlikely that information scientists would unreservedly welcome co-bots into their workspaces as colleagues.
... Further well-established ones look at the consequences of actions for this evaluation (Bentham 1789;Mill 1861) or the character of the agent (Aristotle 2007). There are furthermore numerous more recent theoretical positions specifically aimed at computing and information technologies (Bynum 2001;Floridi 1999;Introna 2005), including recent attempts to formulate ethical positions specifically for AI (AI HLEG 2019; Borenstein et al. 2021;Dignum 2019). The dominant conceptual approach to the ethics of AI, however, is not to use philosophical theories but to refer to mid-level principles and guidelines (Jobin et al. 2019). ...
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The recent exponential rate of AI development has led to a proliferation of AI national policies and strategies as global power blocs have sought to consolidate positions of strategic dominance. These policies have sought to promote the benefits and mitigate the risks of AI—and address ever more serious ethical concerns about these technologies. This raises the question of how countries less influential in the sphere of AI might seek to address such ethical issues themselves, and whether lessons can be learned from existing policies in addressing issues of ethics and human rights. From a consideration of the current AI ethics discourse and existing AI policies, the chapter goes on to explore how ethical concerns are addressed in the North African AI strategies and which gaps and opportunities in terms of coverage of ethical issues arise from the current state of these policies. We suggest that ethical issues should be addressed clearly in policy at the earliest possible stage to ensure that ethical standards are internally produced in line with social and cultural values, rather than being de facto applied by external actors.
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With the increasing prevalence of online fraud and the use of fake logos to deceive consumers, there is a need for effective methods to detect and prevent the use of fake logos on the internet. In this paper, we propose a method for detecting fake logos using machine learning techniques. Our approach involves extracting features from the logos and training a classifier to distinguish between real and fake logos. We evaluate the performance of our method on a dataset of real and fake logos and demonstrate its effectiveness in detecting fake logos with high accuracy. Every day, hundreds of domain names, websites and logos are being cloned by cyber criminals who want to gain your trust so they can steal your data. It is becoming a big issue in the online world and needs to be addressed. This article will discuss the initial project background of our new Online Fake Logo Detection System
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In this article, we seek to add to current debates about surveillance and society by critically exploring the social implications of a new and emerging raft of surveillance practices: those that specifically surround digital techniques and technologies. The article has four parts. In the first, we outline the nature of digital surveillance and consider how it differs from other forms of surveillance. The second part of the article explores the interconnections between digital techniques and the changing political economies of cities and urban societies. Here we explore the essential ambivalence of digital surveillance within the context of wider trends towards privatization, liberalization and social polarization. The third part provides some insights into particular aspects of digital surveillance through three examples: algorithmic video surveillance (in which closed circuit television systems are linked to software for the recognition of movement or identity); the increasingly prevalent practices of digital prioritization in transport and communications; and the medical surveillance of populations, wherein databases are created for increasingly mixed state and commercial medical purposes. Following this, in part four, we reflect on the policy and research implications raised by the spread of digital surveillance.
Identity cards often include a photograph of the bearer in an attempt to prevent fraudulent use or personation. In the U.K. some credit card companies have recently introduced photo-credit cards and the government is currently considering the introduction of a new driving licence including the bearer's photograph. However, the widely held belief that the inclusion of photographs will reduce or prevent fraudulent use has never been tested. This paper describes a field study designed to examine the utility of photo-credit cards by assessing the accuracy with which supermarket cashiers could identify whether the photographs on credit cards depicted the person tendering them. The results demonstrate that the task of matching the photograph to the shopper is much more difficult than might be expected, and that even under optimized conditions, performance is poor. It is concluded that the introduction of photographs on credit cards would have little effect on the detection of fraud at the point of sale. © 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.