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Intel implements facial recognition security system at offices to identify threats

Intel implements facial recognition security system at offices to identify threats

Intel has launched biometric facial recognition technology to improve the security of its offices and employees by identifying “high risk individuals,” OregonLive reports.

There are some 20,000 Intel employees in Oregon, and 50,000 across the U.S. Facial recognition and license plate reading technologies were deployed to its Aloha and Ronler Acres campuses in February, and has done so at several other facilities outside the state, with plans for a broad implementation eventually. Images on employee badges are compared with images captured by cameras with technology supplied by “two established facial recognition specialists,” OregonLive writes.

The publication speculates that the implementation may be the largest workplace facial recognition system in America. Employees are not able to opt out of biometric scanning, which some observers feel puts them in a difficult position, according to the report. Critics also questioned the effectiveness of Intel’s privacy measures.

Visitors’ facial data will be stored for 30 days, unless they are denied access, in which case it will be held for 30 years, and former employees’ facial images will be retained for two years.

“We are always looking for opportunities to improve our security in ways that minimize any disruption for our workers and visitors,” the company told OregonLive in a statement.

A message from the company on an internal message board reported by OregonLive indicates the company is concerned about identifying 200 individuals who are considered serious threats.

Portland State University Associate Dean and Professor Erica Wagner notes that while Intel says the technology it uses is “ethnicity agnostic,” such claims cannot be evaluated without knowing which proprietary algorithm is used, and urges people to inform themselves and form opinions on the technology, even if opting out is not possible.

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