Verdict Still Out On Facial Recognition Technology

(Memphis) What do you know about the people you meet?

On the surface, it can be difficult to dig into a person‘s past and when you consider that person for a possible date, the stakes can be high.

“Just meeting somebody out in Memphis somewhere. You think they are attractive. You may want to have relations with them . You don’t know who they are,” said University of Memphis Freshman Daulton Roberts.

That is the purpose behind the new way to get the goods on someone whom you don’t much about.

Creep Shield says it can instantaneously let you find out if a person is listed on the Sex Offender’s Registry.

“That‘s pretty crazy,” says Roberts.

University of Memphis Freshmen Daulton Roberts and Ricki Byler are dating and say they know plenty about each other, but they did not know about Creep Shield.

“Knowing the background of a person I am dating, it would make me feel comfortable. I wouldn’t have to worry what if this person could do something to harm me,” says Byler.

It was something they were not hesitant to try out.

The website has you upload a picture, hit search, and that image will be compared to hundreds of thousands of those in the sex offender’s registry looking for a match.

Critics say there is too much room for error.

The site uses facial recognition to make a match.

If your facial features are similar to those of someone on the sex offenders list, those photos and names of offenders show up, even when there is no match.

“People have older brothers, younger siblings and stuff. They look alike, so they probably want to fix that, or get real information,” said U of M Freshman Derrick Arrington.

“Based on facial recognition that could ruin someone’s life if it‘s not them or the information is false,” says Freshman Kierra Luster.

Use of Facial recognition technology is a hot topic with U.S. Senator Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota.

He is pushing the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to further study Facial Recognition technology.

He fears using it with dating websites could lead to possible harassment or stalking.

“Once something like that comes out around the school campus, if it‘s not true that can mess up fraternities, organizations you want to be in, anything. Your college experience is over,” says Freshman Realan Lewis.

So for many the verdict is still out on whether this new use of technology is all it‘s cracked up to be.

“I think they may want to work out some of the kinks first, if this is the actual person,” says Freshman Raven Lewis.

We asked law enforcement officers about Creep Shield.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office reports it does not use it and knows nothing about it.

Their suggestion, if you want to see if someone is a sex offender, go to the TBI Sex Offender’s Registry, where you can get a reliable search by name, address, and zip code.

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