The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs is facing criticism over its decision to photograph students for use with facial recognition software without their consent.
According to a local news report, the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, took photos of students without their consent for the purpose of strengthening its facial recognition technology.
The work, which was conducted in 2012 and 2013, involved hiding a camera on campus and snapping photos of students they walked by. The photos, many of which were of students with their head down, were used to bolster facial recognition technology that was being developed by staff at the university.
The images, collected on 20 days between February 2012 and September 2013, were of over 1,700 people completely unaware they were being watched. A large proportion, Boult — El Pomar Endowed Chair of Innovation and Security and a professor of computer science — notes, had their heads down, staring at their phones. Photos also included obstructions, like light poles, and various weather, like snow. Many were blurry.
Breitbart News reported in May that San Francisco passed a bill to outlaw the use of facial recognition software. Some proponents of the technology believe that it effectively utilized to catch criminals. Others argue that the technology would create a dystopian society where the government unlawfully surveils its citizens.
The faculty member behind the photos, Dr. Terrance Boult, argues that there was nothing illegal about his decision to take photos of students in public. Boult claims that he did not publish the project until all of the students that were photographed had graduated from the university.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.