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Facial Recognition To Replace Traditional Means Of Identification In UAE; How Will The Future Be Different?

Facial Recognition

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Post Views: 377 Views

Posted on: Thursday February 25, 2021

Reading Time: 9 minutes
Written by: Mrunali Gaikwad

Technology seems to be taking over almost everything. This evolution in the continually growing digital ecosystem is a major part of the Emirati progression towards a smart future. While the world is seeking ways to go paperless, government departments in the UAE have taken a big step ahead. Where terms like touch-free and contactless were normalized last year, both public and private sectors now seem ready to accept innovation in their everyday life.


Recently, traditional means of identification like official documents will be taken over by technological upgrades as facial recognition technology got approval by the UAE Cabinet. Certainly, now, processes will be more secure and seamless. Your face will soon become your digital identity declining the need for identification cards or other documents.


Dr. Ali Raza, Professor of Computing Sciences, described facial recognition as a pathway to digital transformation. He added, “With this automation, we would have paperless borders and many services along with travel will be faster and more efficient”.


Facial recognition is in use at the Dubai International Airport. Until now, the authorities have succeeded in tracking criminals through thousands of CCTV cameras placed at traffic signals, tourist hotspots and within public transports. Other than Dubai, this technology is being used in other Emirates too. The general public is already using this technology to tag friends and family on social media platforms or to lock their phones.


Although face recognition technology has been around for more than a decade now, it was never used appropriately until the National Institute of Standards and Technology, The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, made some useful updates. Considering the evolutions over these years, these technologies have made procedures faster and accurate.


Over the past years, not only government authorities worldwide but private companies have also been keen on investing in this tech upgrade. Subsequently, by 2025, the global market for facial recognition is expected to reach 8.5 billion dollars.


As the UAE is stepping up towards implementing facial recognition in government and private sectors, the future seems to bring up a new growth and development era.


What Is Facial Recognition?  


Facial recognition is a biometric tool, similar to capturing fingerprints or being used for iris recognition. It considers specific aspects of physiology to identify a person. If you wish to know how it works, here are some details:


Facial recognition works mainly in two steps:-


1. It measures facial features:


The software considers nodal points to identify a face. It uses photo/video or captures a real-time photo of the face to take various measurements. The measurements include the temple area, the space between the eyes, depth of eye sockets, the nose’s width, length of the face from forehead to chin, and distance between cheeks. There are 80 different measurements that the software takes.


2. Data Is Converted Into Facial Signature:


All the information is further converted into a mathematical formula that represents a unique facial signature. The unique facial signature is then compared to the database of this information. This process happens within a few seconds.


Why Do People Have So Much To Discuss? 


Trust Issues 


While the technology is still far from perfect, its use in law enforcement agencies is debatable. Some people and experts focus on the fact that many FR algorithms can make mistakes for non-white faces and fail to provide equally perfect identification for men and women. Then, there are others who see that this technology can help to improve the safety and security of people.




There have been various industry experts who dismissed concerns about digital privacy. While we cannot do that completely, it is important to understand that we live online. We regularly share personal information at various places without knowing how and where it will be used. However, when it comes to personal data, we would be more skeptical about private firms and not the government.


There’s Always Space For Glitch 


As technology is involved in all sectors, the chances of adversarial attacks increase. Since every loop has a loophole, hackers could always find a way to fool the system. While all the resources remain accessible to a person with enough technical knowledge, security threats continue to prevail.


Digital Imaging Services For High-Security Zones 


FR has been widely used for security purposes at airports, border controls, and high-security buildings etc. However, it has spread across various other industries over the past few years, including transportation, manufacturing, banking and finance, hospitality, etc.


The US Department of Homeland Security uses FR to track people under criminal investigation or who may have overstayed their visas. Face recognition is replacing car keys; safety and security are being maintained within college campuses using the same technology.


Now, after the pandemic, FR is going to be a perfect alternative for fingerprint identification. Soon, this technology can be used to outlet products to only a specific group of people based on their age or gender. Undeniably, if the consequences are set aside, FR is likely to serve many benefits.


Source: Khaleej Times

Written by: Mrunali Gaikwad

Mrunali Gaikwad is a technical content writer at Pro Web. She specializes in curating research based content for several niches including web development, digital marketing, eCommerce, travel, beauty, and business.