The Defender’s Big Brother NewsWatch brings you the latest headlines related to governments’ abuse of power, including attacks on democracy, civil liberties and use of mass surveillance. The views expressed in the excerpts from other news sources do not necessarily reflect the views of The Defender.

Facial recognition technology unlocks our smartphones, speeds passengers through airports and finds missing children. But the technology’s increasing use by law enforcement agencies and big corporations has prompted concerns from civil liberties advocates, who worry about the loss of privacy and the chilling of dissent.

Big Tech has even sounded the alarm, with Amazon Inc. founder Jeff Bezos calling facial recognition “a perfect example of where regulation is needed.”

Facial recognition technology scans features on the human face and analyzes them — for instance, measuring the distances between the eyes, nose and mouth, and the shape of the cheeks, lips and ears. Each person’s features are combined to form a kind of digital “faceprint” that is unique to them.

The technology can identify a person by comparing images of their face with existing photographs published online or in government or police databases, such as mugshots or passport photos.

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