Face Recognition Technology: The Potential Orwellian Implications and Constitutionality of Current Uses Under the Fourth Amendment


Robert H. Thornburg


VOL. XX • Winter 2002 • NO. 2 (table of contents)

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Did you smile at the 2001 Super Bowl at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium? Hope you did because the facial recognition cameras certainly got your smile, applause, disappointment and kisses in that great American sports night. If you missed your 15-second of fame, try it again at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

With the use of facial recognition technology at the 2001 Super Bowl and Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, the author seeks to explore the use of this facial recognition technology. He further discusses the constitutionality of it under the Fourth Amendment. In doing so, he analyzes how facial recognition technology constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment and thus offends one's reasonable expectation of privacy. In addition, the aftermath of the tragic attack on September 11th, 2001 inevitably changed public and governments' perspective of such technology. Will a Orwellian state in 1984 foreshadow the future of America? The author believes only through the continued evaluation and criticism of this technology will there be assurances of protection of the Fourth Amendment.

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