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30+ Facial Recognition Statistics, Facts and Trends

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Facial recognition has exploded beyond the technology we use to unlock our devices or verify our identities when signing into work. It is being deployed on a massive scale to cover entire cities and establishments and even help with law enforcement.

But how much does this technology help? What is the downside, and what can the future expect?

Dig into these statistics to find out.

Top 8 Facial Recognition Statistics (Editor’s Pick)

  • About 1 in 5 FRT startups started developing their technologies around the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 42% of survey respondents will be okay with FRT if it increases home and workplace security.
  • The FBI paid $18,000 for Clearview AI licenses in 2022.
  • FRT has a 99% accuracy rate when identifying photos of white males.
  • Facial recognition technology is banned in Belgium and Luxembourg.
  • There’s only a 1 in 1 million chance of someone else unlocking your Apple iPhone via Face ID.
  • 66% of Americans believe the police would track Blacks and Hispanics more with FRT.
  • 3 in 4 Americans believe the federal government shouldn’t limit the use of facial recognition technology.


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General Facial Recognition Statistics

1. CompreFace, an FRT, can accurately identify expressions, age, and gender from images.

Amazon’s Rekognition is also advanced enough to recognize mood, hair color, and facial geometry.

2. Over half of FRT startups don’t focus on anything else.

47.8% of 130 startups offering facial recognition technology also develop other products. However, the other 52.2% have a laser focus on improving their FRT.

FRT startups

3. About 1 in 5 FRT startups started developing their technologies around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their developments were aimed at mask detection and limiting overcrowding but have now evolved into new models.

4. The FRT market is expected to experience a 15.4% annual compound growth rate till 2028.

The market was valued at $3.8 billion in 2020 alone, but it is expected to grow steadily from 2021.

5. Clearview AI, a significant face recognition technology company, adds over 1.5 billion photos monthly.

The company also asked investors for $50 million in funding to add 100 billion photos – or photos of everyone worldwide – in 2022.

6. 10% of Clearview AI’s images are downloaded off VKontakte, a Russian social media service.

The Clearview founder also boasted about 2 in 10 images on the platform pulled from Russian social media.

Facial Recognition Statistics by Use Case

7. 16 US airports already had facial recognition technology installed for testing in December 2022.

About 97% of US airports are expected to have installed this technology in some form by the end of 2023.

8. 55% of people welcome the idea of using FRT at airports.

This was the highest-supported public use case of FRT in 2022. It is followed by 54% supporting implementation at banks and 53% not minding it in hotels.

Using FRT at airports

9. Only 3 in 10 Americans are open to using FRT in hotels.

Surprisingly, 33% of surveyed 2455 respondents in 2022 would be okay with the hotel application if it meant extra convenience for them.

10. 42% of survey respondents will be okay with FRT if it increases home and workplace security.

2022 data shows that another 45% would be more open to the technology if it reduced their queuing/waiting-in-line time.

11. 68% of startups working on FRT in 2021-2022 focus on identity verification.

53% of these startups focus on identification, while 47% focus on facial analysis. Only 38% focus on tracking, while 35% are interested in facial detection.

12. 75.9% of B2G (Business-to-Government) facial recognition startups focus on facial verification.

Data from 2022 reveals that facial detection takes the least focus, at 38.9%. It’s bested by facial identification (63%), tracking (57.4%), and analysis (51.9%).

Facial Recognition in Law Enforcement Statistics

13. 70% of police officers had access to facial recognition technology in some form in 2021.

It has also been used to make some arrests, with the earliest one reported in August 2018 at the Washington Dulles International Airport

14. The FBI paid $18,000 for Clearview AI licenses in 2022.

An Air Force contract worth $50,000 also sought to purchase glasses with facial recognition. On top of that, the ICE tabled a $1.75 million bid to buy the same facial recognition technology.

fbi licenses

Facial Recognition Statistics by Demography

15. 57% of 18–34-year-olds used facial recognition technology at least once daily in 2022.

Only 40% of Gen X (35–54-year-olds) and 24% of 55+-year-olds use facial recognition technology once daily (at least).

16. 48% of Black US adults are scared the police will use FRT to monitor their neighborhoods more than the others.

The 2021 data shows that only 37% of Hispanic adults feel the same, and the number is much lower (18%) among white adults.

17. FRT has a 99% accuracy rate when identifying photos of white males.

However, there’s about a 35% error rate in determining the photos of dark-skinned women.

18. In 2021, 46% of American adults believed it is good for law enforcement to use FRT.

27% of US adults were against applications in the law enforcement niche, while the final 27% remained undecided on the topic.

Law encforcement FRT by law usage

19. By 2021, 8 in 10 Americans have read or heard a little about police officers using facial recognition technology.

Another 21% of Americans surveyed had heard or read A LOT about such applications.

20. Facial recognition technology is banned in Belgium and Luxembourg.

However, the Belgian Police Force bypassed this ban to use the technology about 100-500 times in 2021 alone.

21. 28% of Black adults strongly believe that the police will make more false arrests using facial recognition technology.

White adults (11%) do not seem to believe such claims that much, while Hispanic adults (19%) are somewhere in the middle.

22. Five cities in the USA banned the use of FRT.

These include Boston, Portland, Springfield, San Francisco, and Portland from ME.

23. 4 in 10 Americans use FRT on at least one application per day.

The September 2022 survey shows that this number is much higher (75%) among Gen Z and Millennials aged 18-34.

24. Facial recognition technology startups were spread across 36 countries in 2022.

The US leads the charge with 20.9% of these startups, followed by India (9.3%) and the UK (7%).

Consumer-Grade Facial Recognition Statistics

25. There's only a 1 in 1 million chance of someone else unlocking your Apple iPhone via Face ID.

This means about 8,000+ people globally, showing it is about 20x more secure than fingerprint biometrics (on smartphones).

Face ID apple iphone security stats

26. Facebook's FRT AI (DeepFace) has a 97.25% accuracy rate.

Humans managed a 97.53% accuracy rate in telling two pictures apart in the same test, scoring just 0.28% better than Facebook’s algorithm.

27. 68% of FRT users claim they use it to unlock their devices.

As of 2022, another 51% of respondents use the technology to unlock or log in to an app on their phones.

28. Only 28% of facial recognition startups in 2022 dealt in consumer-grade solutions.

A larger percentage (91%) developed business-to-business (B2B) solutions, while only 43% created business-to-government (B2G) offerings.

Facial Recognition Downside Statistics

29. 66% of Americans believe the police would track Blacks and Hispanics more with FRT.

Furthermore, the 2021 research shows concerns from 69% of respondents who believe the police would be able to track them at all times. In fact, 53% of US adults believe there will be more false arrests once the technology becomes widespread.

30. 60% of FRT startups don't maintain a public image of privacy compliance.

As of early 2022, only 9.6% of these startups are GDPR-compliant, and a mere 14.4% choose other public images of privacy instead. Fortunately, a higher number (16%) are GDPR-compliant and maintain the same public image.

FRT privacy

31. Clearview AI has been feeding its database by downloading user photos off social media without consent.

The Californian state and ACLU have since sued it. It even pulled out of Canada after an investigation was launched into its methods.

Facial Recognition by Adoption Statistics

32. Almost 20% of 99 countries had deployed FRT in their schools in 2021.

80% of the countries also use facial recognition technology in their banks and other financial institutions. Likewise, 40% of countries have the technology installed in workplaces, 20% use it on buses, and up to 30% use it on trains.

33. 3 in 4 Americans believe the federal government shouldn’t limit the use of facial recognition technology.

84% of people claim they would support the federal regulation of this technology. Another 57% are okay with having their images fed to the FRT database to help improve public safety.

34. Clearview was offered to Ukraine for free during the war.

The FRT startup’s founder believes that it can be used to identify the dead, reunite refugees with their families and identify enemy combatants, among other use cases.

FRT identification during the war

No Face, No Case?

You might not be able to control what establishments see your face when you walk in, but you can keep the authorities from snooping on your internet activities too.

Get a  reliable VPN to mask your internet traffic, hide your online activities, remain faceless online (when you want to), and regain your digital autonomy.

  1. https://passport-photo.online/blog/facial-recognition-statistics/
  2. https://support.apple.com/en-ph/guide/security/welcome/web
  3. https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/belgium-all-news/188743/belgian-police-illegally-used-facial-recognition-software
  4. https://www.enterpriseappstoday.com/stats/facial-recognition-statistics.html
  5. https://gigasource.io/face-recognition-statistics/
  6. https://hospitalitytech.com/new-cyberlink-report-finds-more-half-18-34-year-olds-use-facial-recognition-daily-and-are-open
  7. https://www.insightsforprofessionals.com/it/security/facial-recognition-technology-trends-2022
  8. https://ai-regulation.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/MIAI_Skopai_finalfromAIRegulation_2022_01_14.pdf
  9. https://www.insiderintelligence.com/content/clearview-ai-aims-put-every-face-its-facial-recognition-database
  10. https://restofworld.org/2020/stat-of-the-day/arabic-audiobook-library
  11. https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2022/02/09/a-threat-to-black-communities-senators-call-on-immigration-cops-and-fbi-to-quit-using-clearview-facial-recognition/?sh=26fda30e6d06
  12. https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-ukraine-has-started-using-clearview-ais-facial-recognition-during-war-2022-03-13/
  13. https://www.comparitech.com/blog/vpn-privacy/facial-recognition-statistics/
  14. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2022/03/17/public-more-likely-to-see-facial-recognition-use-by-police-as-good-rather-than-bad-for-society/
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