The rise in the use of facial recognition technology and the lack of standards or regulation around its use means that people in Alabama and throughout the country who have been convicted of crimes could be tracked in certain public places. Even people who are merely suspected of shoplifting without being charged could be barred from stores that chose to do so. The ban could extend far beyond the initial store and could include all the stores in the network.
One of the major issues with facial recognition technology is that there is not a single standard of accuracy. Therefore, while it might be expected that law enforcement would use more accurate technology than what is in casual commercial use, this is not necessarily the case.
Another issue is that the technology is so new that there are few regulations around its use. Therefore, law enforcement agencies and other entities can use it in a way that might have a higher likelihood of violating a person's privacy. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that law enforcement is required to have a warrant before it can track a person's movement by phone, no such regulations exist regarding facial recognition software. Some retail establishments share information with law enforcement, and agencies can act on that information and bypass the need for a warrant.
As this technology demonstrates, the repercussions of being convicted for even relatively minor crimes, such as theft of property, can be significant and far-reaching. It is possible that regulations may come into place on a federal level for facial recognition technology if someone who is charged with a crime because of it pursues a set of appeals. Whether or not this technology is involved, a person who is facing charges for property crimes may want to consult an attorney about a defense strategy.