Three-in-Four Virginians See Facial Recognition Technologies as Beneficial

Nearly 90% Say Finding Missing Persons and Abducted Children Is an Appropriate Use of Facial Recognition
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 9:00 AM EST

UTICA, N.Y., Nov. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 75% of Virginia residents see the use of facial recognition technologies by law enforcement as appropriate and beneficial, according to new research from Zogby Analytics. The support is consistent across all political affiliations. The statewide interactive survey of 602 Virginians was conducted from Oct. 28-31 and has a margin of error of +/- 4%.

Earlier this year, the state of Virginia enacted a ban on facial recognition technology use by local law enforcement and campus police departments. However, according to the survey, Virginians overwhelmingly believe that the use of facial recognitions technologies is appropriate for finding missing persons and children (87%) and solving crimes (77%).

Virginia citizens also seem to be in support of tools that would enable law enforcement to automate the search of images available on the public Internet and use those images to help identify both crime victims and suspects. Key findings on the issue include:

  • 90% said law enforcement should be able to search publicly available social media photos to help find missing children and to find or prosecute child sex offenders/traffickers
  • 84% said law enforcement should be able to search publicly available photos to help find endangered adults and 86% are in favor of using the technology to positively identify endangered individuals
  • 78% said law enforcement should be able to search publicly available social media photos to investigate criminal activity, 87% support the searching public images to apprehend and prosecute violent offenders with 82% supporting the use to arrest or prosecute drug traffickers.
  • 89% are in favor of law enforcement public image searches to identify individuals on a terrorist watch list at public events
  • 59% are in favor of the search of public images if it reduces the need to interrogate and investigate witnesses
  • 70% think that private facial recognition database that only includes arrest mug shots would have a risk of being discriminatory with 52% saying it was a high or moderate risk.

The full survey results can be found here.

About Zogby Analytics

Zogby Analytics provides custom research and insight to leaders of businesses and communities, as well as to individuals. Our staff is composed entirely of senior level executives from Zogby International, as such, we bring our many years of reliable research experience to work for you. Whether you need telephone research, social media tracking, an interactive study, or some combination, we are prepared to help you achieve your goals.

Contact: Chad Bohnert, chad@zogbyanalytics.com

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SOURCE Zogby Analytics

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