Because of COVID-19, more businesses than ever are adopting touchless technology for access control and workforce management. A popular solution is face recognition, a market which analysts say will have grown by almost $1 billion by early 2021 due to the pandemic’s impact. But, deploying new technologies naturally raises concerns among management and employees. As new industries make plans to take the leap into face recognition-based security, the burden is on managers to understand and communicate the differences between face recognition and video surveillance, especially regarding user privacy.
Biometrics provide a high level of security because they cannot be stolen or copied. Each face is unique, and staff will never lose, forget or share IDs if workplace access or time punches are based on face recognition. However, employees and visitors may be anxious about this new technology due to concerns that their picture is being saved and shared, that the authentication camera is recording them at all times and that people they don’t know are watching them. With these concerns in mind, management and integrators should be proactive in addressing user fears by fully understanding their security hardware.
The Distinction Between Face Recognition and Video Surveillance
One of the most prominent concerns among newcomers to face recognition access control relates to how and when video footage is taken. Individuals are understandably worried that they are always being recorded without their knowledge, which mirrors media sensationalism surrounding “big brother” or a “surveillance state”. A majority of U.S. states criminalize video surveillance if video is taken in a location where the person on camera expects privacy – i.e. bathrooms, locker rooms, etc.
This should not be a problem for face recognition security systems. Reputable installers only deploy security hardware for access control and workforce management at doors or clock-in locations, respectively. Face recognition for access control at doors or workforce management at clock-in locations is purpose-engineered to authenticate individuals to grant access or track time – their purpose is not to constantly record anyone in the vicinity, but to validate the identity of certain consenting individuals.
Another important difference between face recognition and video surveillance is the presence of consent. Employers should obtain consent from their employees when enrolling them for face recognition because enrollment is an agreement to use one’s face for authentication. There should also be an alternate option (such as card or PIN) for employees who do not consent to biometric use. In the case of video surveillance, video is always being taken regardless if consent is given or not. And, every time an employee approaches the device to be authenticated with face recognition, they effectively give their consent for their likeness to be used for this purpose. Employees subject to video surveillance with traditional security cameras may or may not know that they are being recorded in public areas.
Business leaders and security administrators also have concerns about face recognition technology. Worries that spoofs such as photos and masks of authorized individuals could authenticate unwanted visitors may prevent businesses from converting to facial recognition. The most important function of access control is to limit access to those meant to enter an area while limiting unauthorized individuals, while the purpose of a workforce management system is to accurately track punches. Spoofs that could fool these systems pose a risk to business security, as unreliable security hardware could compromise workplace security. Instead, businesses should look for solutions that incorporate advanced technology such as liveness detection to ensure the device only authenticates the right people.
Further, mask mandates for COVID-19 may slow down a business’s decision to adopt face recognition. Offered the choice between a non-biometric touchless system and asking personnel to take masks off to enter a building or clock in and out, leadership is likely to choose the option that does not increase the risk of respiratory droplets spreading on surfaces. Now, with enhanced functionality for mask-wearers, this decision no longer needs to be made. IXM TITAN offers face recognition while wearing a mask to ensure that masks stay on at entry and time-stamping locations so business leaders can feel assured that their security system best protects the health of staff and visitors.
How Face Recognition Ensures User Security and Privacy
Biometrics, including face recognition, provide enhanced security for any business. When a person presents themselves to a face recognition device, it matches unique data points captured from the face scan to the encrypted biometric template saved to the device’s database during enrollment. These data points ensure low error rates during authentication, which assures managers that the wrong people are not given access or have their timecards punched. And because of their sophisticated encryption, employees can have confidence that their biometric templates cannot be stolen, copied or decrypted.
Face recognition is rightfully the most talked-about biometric modality of 2020: its high level of security and touchless features offer a wealth of business benefits. Touchless technology ensures staff and visitors are protected from the spread of illness by removing the need to touch shared surfaces and offering rapid authentication, such as IXM TITAN’s throughput of 15 to 18 people per minute. Focusing on high throughputs means that large shifts of employees or lines of visitors no longer need to congregate in small areas where they may not be able to social distance. Protecting personnel health is a new and critical dimension of security introduced by COVID-19, and rapid, touchless technology is one of the best solutions to ensure workplace health.
A complete face recognition access control or workforce management system could not exist without a powerful analytics tool to monitor building access, employee punches and even staff and visitor body temperatures in response to COVID-19 security needs. Comparatively, video surveillance on its own cannot offer the wealth of software features face recognition systems can.
As such, Invixium’s face recognition solutions are best enhanced by IXM WEB, a comprehensive, web-based software tool that provides options for how each business wants to use its features:
- An audit trail provides security staff with a time-stamped report of every interaction visitors have with installed devices. IXM WEB generates a visually appealing, colorful, easy-to-read audit trail of authentication activity.
- The most effective workforce management software empowers workers and managers alike to always be on top of shift assignments, schedules, and more. IXM Time enhances IXM WEB with workforce management features like shift management and time tracking reports to ensure employees clock in and out at designated times—eliminating the risk of accidental or intentional time theft.
- COVID-19 has transformed security systems and placed a new demand on hardware and software to screen and track staff and visitor temperatures as they enter buildings. IXM Health is IXM WEB’s latest and most advanced feature that translates data captured by IXM TITAN with Enhancement Kit into at-a-glance reports on all elevated body temperature screening events logged by the device.
The ideal security solution for any business is one that meets each of its most pressing needs. Face recognition technology with analytics tools and added security features assure managers that staff is safe, secure and healthy at work. With features purpose-engineered for access control and workforce management that video surveillance simply cannot offer, face recognition is an ideal choice for building managers and security installers.
Secure Your Business with an Experienced Face Recognition Partner
Our expert sales team is here to help you select the best solution for your business based on your needs for touchless face recognition as you plan for healthy access control and workforce management. As always, Invixium strives to be your preferred biometric manufacturer by offering the finest technology on the market with knowledgeable guidance.
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