An Israeli biometrics startup with a history of defense contracts has applied for a patent on technology that repositions drones to get a better shot of a person on the ground.
The patent application, titled “Adaptive Positioning of Drones for Enhanced Face Recognition,” describes a computer vision system that analyzes the angle of a drone camera in relation to the face of a person on the ground, then instructs the drone on how to improve its vantage point. The system can then send that image through a machine-learning model trained to classify individual faces. The model sends back a classification with a probability score. If the probability score falls below a certain threshold, the whole process starts over again.
A future defined by this type of mass surveillance would “obliterate privacy and anonymity in public as we know it,” said Kade Crockford, head of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts.