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Many Irish skeptical about responsible facial recognition use, poll shows

Many Irish skeptical about responsible facial recognition use, poll shows

A recent study by market research and data analysis outfit Ireland Thinks suggests 42 percent of Irish nationals still entertain serious doubts about the trustworthiness of facial recognition deployments by any public or private entities for different use cases, reports The Journal.

According to the poll that was conducted early this month within the framework of The Good Information Project on new media, more of the respondents (49 percent) however believe the police service (An Garda Síochána) can be more responsible in its use of facial recognition tech than other government departments (39 percent).

The poll also shows just 18 percent of citizens would trust facial recognition technology deployed by financial services companies, while six and two percent were recorded as trust levels for facial recognition by big tech companies and online advertising firms respectively, The Journal notes.

The outcome of the poll also revealed significant differences in responses in terms of the age group and political affiliations of the respondents. For instance, 34 percent of respondents within the lowest age group sampled (18-34 years) said they would trust responsible use of facial recognition by the police, as opposed to 62 percent for respondents above 65 years old.

On whether social media apps should require digital identity verification for their platforms, the poll reveals 72 percent of overall respondents answered in the affirmative. However, the responses showed younger citizens (18-24 years) were less in favour of ID verification for social media use (45 percent) unlike those of 65 years and beyond (86 percent).

The Journal notes that the poll was conducted on February 5 based on 1,780 samples carefully selected from a group of 30,000 panelists, and the results were arrived at using a meticulous procedure to ensure that the study was representative of different factors such as age, gender, region, educational attainment, religious adherence, housing status, and past voting behavior, of citizens.

The survey results are similar to the responses of people in the U.S., UK and Australia when asked about their relative trust in the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement, other government entities and businesses.

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