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Annotated Bibliography


1. Blackburn, Duane, Miles, Chris, Wing, Brad, & Shepard, Kim. (2007). Face Recognition. National Science and Technology Council, Committee on Technology, Committee on Homesland and National Security, Subcommittee on Bioethics.


This document published by Department of Homeland Security in 2006, is a comprehensive look at the history, current implementations and future of Facial Recognition Technologies. It recounts the predominant approaches and reviews the current government standards on to facial recognition technology.


2. Chellappa, Rama, Pawan Sinha, P. Jonathon Phillips. “Face Recognition By Computers And Humans”, IEEE Computer, Volume 43, Issue 2, February 2010.


This article delves into the nuances and techniques of facial recognition. It details how cameras can detect features of the face including eyebrows, expressions, pose, age etc. It also covers different contexts of facial recognition algorithms including video based recognition, recognition on the web, facial recognition across ages and facial recognition combined with other biometrics like fingerprints or iris scans.


3. Gates, Kelly. Our Biometric Future: Facial Recognition Technology and the Culture of Surveillance, New York: New York University Press, 2011. (LAU Stacks TK 7882.B56 G38 2011).


This recently published book gives a thorough overview of the history of measuring facial features for deeper meanings in the late 19th century to the modern marketplace of facial recognition technologies. It acknowledges the need to critically approach the use of facial recognition technologies from the perspective of social sciences and ethics perspective, but also argues critics should understand that implementing ubiquitous facial recognition and surveillance systems are technically challenging feats and have not yet been realized. It includes a chapter on military use of facial recognition technologies and examines the development of rhetoric of using FR to “fight the face of terror.” It delves into the social and political implications of this rhetoric used heavily after 9/11, and goes on to say FR was purposefully construed as an appropriate tool in “asymmetric warfare” to target enemies in a crowd.


4. Givens, G. H., Beveridge, J. R., Phillips, P. J., Draper, B., Lui, Y. M., & Bolme, D. (2013). Introduction to face recognition and evaluation of algorithm performance. Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, 67, 236-247.


This paper focuses on the statistical methods that facilitate identification, comparison and interpretation of facial in automated facial recognition. The paper reviews central topics in face recognition for background and give examples of algorithms. The paper then focuses on a linear mixed model analysis of a widely used face recognition dataset called, “Good, Bad, and Ugly Face Challenge.”


5. Introna, Lucas D. & Nissenbaum, Helen, “Facial Recognition Technology: A Survey of Policy and Implementation Issues”, Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response, New York University, July 22, 2009,


This paper “highlights the potential and limitations” of facial recognition technology (FRT). As of 2009, FRT could really work in highly controlled settings within short ranges, and it could only identify individuals whose volunteered their biometrics for entry into a database. It also takes a look at ethical considerations of this technology including whether the system is covertly or overtly implemented and whether the data in the system, especially if shared across networks, is appropriately protected.


6. Klontz, J. C., & Jain, A. K. (2013). A Case Study on Unconstrained Facial Recognition Using the Boston Marathon Bombings Suspects. Michigan State University, Tech. Rep.


This paper investigates the potential of facial recognition technology to recognize the Boston Marathon bombers in the moments after the blast. The researchers simulate the identification scenario using three state-of-the-art commercial face recognition systems, and evaluate the maturity of face recognition technology in matching low quality face images of uncooperative subjects. Results show one instance where a commercial face matcher returns a rank-one hit for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev against a one million mug shot background database. The paper touches on issues surrounding pose, occlusion, and resolution continue which “confounds matchers.”


7. Knudson, Christa, Kemp, Michael C., Lambardo, Nicholas J., “STIDP: A U.S. Department of Homeland Security program for countering explosives attacks at large public events and mass transit facilities”(2009). Web.


This paper was published by U.S. Department of Homeland Security to overview its proposed Standoff Technology Integration and Demonstration Program. This program is designed to accelerate the development and integration of technologies, concepts of operations, and training to defeat explosives attacks at large public events and mass transit facilities. The program will address threats posed by suicide bombers, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, and leave-behind bombs. Although BOSS is not yet considered part of the STIDP technology suite, it may join as facial recognition accuracy rate increases.


8. Phillips, P. Jonathon, “Improving Face Recognition Technology”, IEEE Computer, Volume 44 Issue 3, 2011,


This paper details the workings of facial recognition technology, including verification and identification. It also details milestones in facial recognition technology from 1993 to 2011.


9. Sanburn, Josh. “Seattle Police to Use Facial Recognition Software”. TIME, March 14, 2014.


Seattle police gets a 1.6 million dollar grant from Homeland Security to implement facial recognition software. ACLU raises objections but ultimately drops concerns.


10. Savage, Charlie. “Facial Scanning Is Making Gains in Surveillance”, The New York Times, August 21, 2013. 


This article documents the developments in BOSS research as it started off in the military detecting potential suicide bombers and other terrorists overseas at “outdoor polling places in Afghanistan and Iraq.” The Department of Homeland Security then adopted it in 2010 for police use. EWA was the sole contractor to bid to build the technology.


11. Simonite, Tom. “How Facial Recognition Tech Could Help Trace Terrorism Suspects”, MIT Technology Review, 


This article details the potential of using facial recognition technology to identify the Boston bombing, or other terrorist activity, perpetrators. It details the gains in facial recognition algorithms from labs at Carngie Mellon and Michigan State.


12. Singer, Natasha. “When No One Is Just A Face in the Crowd”, The New York Times, Feb 1, 2014. 


This article covers the privacy concerns over an increasing number of corporations and retailers using facial recognition technology and collecting biometric data, which is linked to other data like credit card information and phone numbers. The article discusses the right of the consumer to own their data.


13. Wolf, Naomi. “The New Totalitarianism of Surveillance Technology”, The Guardian, August 15, 2012,


This article surveys different modes of biometric measurement and surveillance currently being explored by the government. It also discusses the ubiquitous nature of surveillance, and raises concerns about the government and corporations harvesting data without informing consumers.


14. Wolfhope, Patricia. “Privacy Impact Assessment Update for the Standoff Technology,” Integration and Demonstration Program: Biometric Optical Surveillance System Tests, December 2012.


This paper published by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate covers previous testing from 2010-2012 of Biometric Optical Surveillance System. It explains the technical limitations of the technology. It posits, however, that it is still “advantageous technology to develop and implement for national security purposes.”


15. Wolfhope, Patricia. “Privacy Impact Assessment Update for the Standoff Technology Integration and Demonstration Program: Biometric Optical Surveillance System Tests,” U.S. Department of Homeland Security, September 2013.


This paper published by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate examines the security and privacy concerns raised by BOSS. It explains how the technology uses two 2D images to construct a 3D image. It then explains the planned testing of BOSS and the volunteer-system by which a database of faces will be compiled.

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