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Facial recognition systems deny unemployment benefits in the United States

A recent series of problems suggests that the reliability issues of facial recognition harm people in a time of need. Motherboard report that there are ongoing complaints about the facial recognition system at least 21 states use to verify people seeking unemployment benefits. People have spent weeks or months without benefits when the Face Match system does not verify their identities, and they have sometimes been unlucky enough to receive help through a video chat system designed to solve these problems.

The head of, Blake Hall, blamed the problems on users rather than technology. Face Match algorithms have “99.9% efficiency,” he said, and there was “no relationship” between them. skin tone and recognition flaws. Hall instead suggested that people do not share selfies correctly or otherwise do not follow instructions.

Motherboard noted that at least some people have three attempts to pass the facial recognition check. The outlet also reported that the company’s claims of national unemployment fraud costs have grown rapidly in the past few months, from $ 100 billion to $ 400 billion. While Hall attributed this to the expansion of “data points,” he did not say how his company calculated the damages. It is not clear just what the real threat of fraud is, in other words.

Whatever happens with technology, the incidents highlight one of the reasons why federal and state governments hope limit facial recognition. Although privacy and security are not issues, they do not seem to be reliable enough to avoid important issues. The 99.9 percent success rate can also leave many people without benefits that they are eligible to claim. Such systems may need to be much more reliable to eliminate these headaches in the future.

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