Facial Recognition Software: A Good HR Tool?

Facial recognition technology has become more widely available and more useful than ever before. Facial recognition technology involves automatically identifying a person from a video or picture source. The technology allows you to learn a great deal of information from a face, including a person’s home address, social security number, social clubbing behaviors and criminal background. It is also available to anyone.

Facial Recognition Technology and Employment Implications

The implications of face recognition technology could potentially be huge to employers, if they choose to use them. Face recognition technology could help in the hiring process by allowing employers to find out all of the information they could want or need about potential candidates. It could also make background checks and security clearances much more streamlined and simple.

However, most employment law experts warn against the use of this technology by HR professionals. This warning comes not just because there are no clear rules about the use of the technology or about how it impacts privacy, but also because it is possible that employers could find themselves facing problems with allegations of discrimination as a result of using face recognition technology.

Anti-discrimination laws forbid employers from taking any employment action on the basis of someone’s age, race, gender, religion or national origin. When employers begin to keep information – pictures- that show a person’s race, and when they use those pictures to find out other things- like their employee’s religious affiliations- this can make the employer susceptible to a case under Title VII or other civil rights laws.

Essentially, this means that unless you are in an industry where security is vital, or unless facial recognition becomes the standard and clear rules and guidelines develop, it is best to steer clear.

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