Big Brother is watching…and Americans are fine with it

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While some people are creeped out by cutting edge cameras’ ability to spot them in a crowd, or the fact that photos are commonly logged at public events, a new survey says a majority of people are fine with it.

A national poll of just over three thousand American adults found that just one in four want the government to limit facial recognition technology.

“People are often suspicious of new technologies, but in this case, they seem to have warmed up…quite quickly,” said Daniel Castro, director of the Center for Data Innovation, the non-profit research institute that conducted the survey.

What’s behind the “warming,” apparently, is the rapidly growing accuracy of the facial ID gadgetry.

The survey noted that 59% of those polled were cool with the technology, provided the software doing the ID’ing is accurate 100% of the time. A drop to a hypothetical 80% accuracy also caused a drop of acceptance of the surveillance from 59% to 39%.

The survey noted that people are particularly comfortable with the tech when it’s used for security screening purposes at airports, or to help law enforcement. Just 18% of those polled were willing to “sacrifice safety for liberty,” to paraphrase Ben Franklin.

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