Talking points: is facial recognition technology an invasion of privacy or not?

Hate it when you can’t talk back? Well, you can with Young Post. Have your say and share with students around Hong Kong

Ginny Wong |

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Is facial recognition a privacy threat?

Definitely not. The technology needs to keep a record of faces because it is helping people improve their lives. The tech is, or will be, used in many places, such as schools, homes, buildings, on phones, and by the police. It will make people’s lives more safe and convenient. More people and companies are using facial recognition technology. If it were considered an invasion of privacy, why would these companies use it?

Lee Cheuk-ling, 13, Fanling Rhenish Church Secondary

Yes. In today’s digital world, privacy is something that is getting harder to protect. But what if simply scanning your face provides someone with enough information to track you and learn all about you? I think it will truly invade our privacy. Hackers, for instance, could use our faces to gain access to personal information such as our bank accounts or social media platforms. However, its convenience makes its use inevitable.

Lee Yuen-chi, 16, Fung Kai No. 1 Secondary School

What effect will China’s social credit system have on youth development and thinking?

I would say yes, it’s an invasion of privacy because you can secretly use a person’s image to do something, usually bad, without letting them know. That can damage their image. However, under certain circumstances, my answer would also be no. If you give consent to someone and let them use your data, this is not an invasion of privacy.

Jasmine Cho Li, 14, Cheung Chuk Shan College

Yes. Some shopping malls on the mainland have started using facial recognition technology to track shoppers’ ages and genders without obtaining their explicit consent. The information includes their name, age, gender, address, and phone numbers. Shops can find out their spending habits. This definitely invades people’s privacy.

Tiffany Li, 13, Stamford American International School

Social media etiquette: Always ask before you post a picture of your child (or parent) online

Facial recognition technology isn’t a kind of privacy invasion – it helps improve our lives. If you think it is an invasion of privacy, then what about all the cameras on the streets? Compared to those cameras, facial recognition technology is not as invasive.

Marco Ng, 16, Fung Kai No. 1 Secondary School

We want to know what topics or questions you want us to cover in the new school year. Email your suggestions with your name, age, and school, to [email protected]. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points topics” in the subject line.