Disney just announced that it would be testing facial recognition at entry points to the Magic Kingdom, as a form of admission to the park.
This is the latest example of corporations using facial recognition without concern for how the mass collection of biometric data puts people in danger.
On its website, Disney even says that “security, integrity, and confidentiality of your information are extremely important to us” BUT ALSO THAT “no security measures are perfect or impenetrable.” We’ve already seen facial recognition databases get hacked, putting peoples’ sensitive and irreplaceable information in the hands of people who want to do harm.
Disney says that testing facial recognition is optional—but if people don’t understand the risks and built-in biases associated with handing over their biometric information, they could be putting themselves in danger without realizing it. And the technology’s long track record of misidentifying dark-skinned people, misgendering LGBTQ+ people, and working less well on both women and children will put these groups at even greater risk.
While Disney’s test is “optional,” if people are unaware of all the harm facial recognition poses, they could opt in to the facial recognition line at the entrance and put themselves and their families in danger without realizing it.
Disney hasn’t given a lot of information about its plans to test facial recognition, but it has clearly stated that it’s impossible to secure the biometric data collected.2 Disney also doesn’t clarify how long it will hold onto the data, if it will use it for marketing, or sell it to third parties, or give it to the police.
This is an essential issue with facial recognition—it gathers personal and irreplaceable data that can be targeted by hackers and people who want to do harm. There are many examples of facial recognition databases being hacked, and once someone has your face scan, you can’t replace it like you could your credit card.
Corporations like Disney should not be allowed to use facial recognition at all. The only way to protect peoples’ rights and privacy against this invasive surveillance technology is to not use it at all.
Caitlin at Fight for the Future