Ready for Big Brother? Americans increasingly accept unrestricted facial recognition tech

Americans are increasingly embracing Big Brother, according to a recent survey that found only one in four want restrictions on the use of facial recognition technology by governments – a marked change from two months ago.

Just one in four Americans want strict government limits on the use of biometric technology – with opposition shrinking further if such technology would help law enforcement, reduce shoplifting, or speed up security screenings at the airport, according to a national poll conducted last month by the Center for Data Innovation. Opposition to biometric surveillance decreases with age, and women are more accepting of the technology than men, the poll results show.

Half of respondents oppose restrictions on biometric tech if the scanners are used to stop shoplifting. Just three months earlier, half of Americans were still against facial recognition for theft prevention purposes, according to the Brookings Institute. Only a quarter of them would oppose retail use now.