As the artificial intelligence sector keeps growing, one major trend is becoming visible. More and more companies and governments worldwide are deploying computer vision technology.
Computer vision tech has massive potential. The applications range from identifying objects to evaluating people and monitoring high-risk events. On the other hand, it carries some quite disturbing privacy concerns. Let’s see the potential of this tech and its potential impact on your privacy.
The most popular computer vision uses cases
The best way to understand the potential of any given tech is to look at its use cases, and computer vision has enormous potential. We can see the tech used in transportation, healthcare, and manufacturing, but it’s also used in security, surveillance, and monitoring.
Here are a few common uses.
Computer vision has found many uses in transportation. It has become a core technology in the self-driving car industry, helping cars classify objects and detect objects in a split second.
It is used for pedestrian detection to enhance pedestrian protection systems in smart cities. Computer vision also efficiently detects parking occupancy and traffic flow in real-time.
In healthcare, computer vision tech plays a vital role in the analysis of X-rays, CT, and MRI scans. Other important use cases include medical image data processing for pathology departments and cancer and neurodevelopmental disorder diagnosis.
This tech proved exceptionally helpful in detecting defects early in the production process. It’s also used in warehouses, where it assists in translating barcodes into the readable text to streamline operations and real-time inventory monitoring.
Computer vision can use cameras and various sensor systems to go through historical recordings or look at real-time video feeds. It’s used to enhance the security of people in public spaces, companies, and while on transportation.
In combination with AI and facial biometrics, this tech can help identify specific risky behaviors and enable arthritis to have a real-time response instead of relying on phone call reporting. Computer vision also improves alarm and surveillance systems in commercial and residential buildings.
It’s clear that computer vision has massive potential. However, when you use tech to streamline surveillance operations, it generates specific concerns. We are talking about data privacy concerns.
Let’s address these concerns in more detail.
Computer vision and data privacy
Publicly available image datasets and personal information databases of people paired with video streaming in real-time enable AI-powered computer vision systems could identify people in the video.
When we are talking about facial recognition, we are not only referring to discovering a name and surname of a person, but also more data, including addresses, email, and age.
Imagine knowing that a company using computer vision has this amount of data on you. That raises several privacy concerns, including how the companies with this tech use your private data. They could sell it to marketing companies, or even worse, the company servers may get hacked, resulting in a data leak.
What if your sensitive personal data ends up in the wrong hands?
Not to mention the extent of surveillance enabled by computer vision. It’s one thing to know that there are cameras and that authorities can use the recorded footage to find a suspect in a criminal event. However, it’s an entirely different story when you know that there is software processing the video feed in real-time and can identify you.
The concerns around digital privacy
The facial recognition systems are still far from perfect. A software error can produce a false match, resulting in arresting the wrong person. Another common issue is biased facial recognition, which commonly generates false matches and inaccurate identifications.
Additionally, users are already exposed to various tracking practices. From cookies to IP tracking, there are various ways people can track you on your computer. It is also possible that spyware targets PCs and hopes to monitor each activity and data exchange performed. Therefore, having a reliable antivirus tool is essential.
Another option is choosing more privacy-oriented programs and tools.
For instance, you should disable telemetry on your Windows device. Furthermore, you can pick more private browsers or install Virtual Private Networks. The latter tool is handy for increasing your privacy, security, and anonymity online. A VPN for PC will mean more protection for your activities at home and prevent online entities from seeing your approximate location.
Computer vision has found many use cases across sectors. It helps automate some operations and enables futuristic products such as self-driving cars. However, it carries data privacy concerns when used for surveillance and security, which is why Western governments started to ban its use.
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