It wasn’t too long ago that depictions of facial recognition software were more fiction than science, but with advances in technology, not only is it now real, but also part of our everyday lives.
From phones to laptop cameras, facial recognition has become a way to make our personal devices secure using biometric technology, but it’s the use of facial recognition for surveillance and potential breaches of privacy that has drawn the most attention. The recent data breach involving Clearview AI has sparked even more of these conversations about privacy, with their list of customers being compromised, the majority of which are law enforcement agencies. When news of this data breach broke, we sought to identify what the largest narratives were and who the most prominent key opinion leaders were using Quid’s media intelligence platform. An analysis of nearly 3,000 articles from the last 6 months with “Facial Recognition” as our only keyword showed just how prominent Clearview AI was in these conversations, with news coverage involving the company appearing as the largest cluster in our network (8.5% of news stories) if you were to combine general mentions and references to police department usage
Other large clusters in the network include coverage on the legality of surveillance in the UK, as well as planned wide-scale deployments in China and India.

Sentiment Has a Correlation with Context

Our analysis uncovered a wide range of sentiment towards facial recognition, and two widely discussed subtopics emerged from the coverage around the technology: safety, and privacy. As you can see in the data visualization below, the top stories that focused on surveillance had a higher percentage of negative sentiment due to the implications around privacy, while those that focused on security in airports were generally more positive because they focused on safety.

Who Are The Key Opinion Leaders?

With two clear perspectives on the matter, whose voices are being heard loudest above all of the noise? A look at who was mentioned most in the analyzed articles show that Silkie Carlo, Director of Big Brother Watch, and Evan Greer, Deputy Director of Fight for the Future, led the way, with both strongly in opposition of facial recognition technology being used for surveillance. Coming in third was Nick Ephgrave, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service in the UK, who was featured prominently as an advocate of using the technology for law enforcement.

But while media coverage is an important component of identifying key opinion leaders on a given topic, the way in which their voices are amplified on social media channels is important as well. When looking at social engagement for the top 3 people mentioned in the analyzed stories, those that mentioned Evan Greer saw significantly more social engagement than the other two, with two stories that were shared an average of more than 750 times.

What External Factors Are Shaping Perception of Your Brand?

With news cycles moving faster than ever, and stories being amplified exponentially through social channels, you’ll need a solution that allows you to quickly identify which narratives and key opinion leaders are driving conversations about your brand. Learn more about how you can significantly reduce the time it takes to find these insights by signing up for a personalized demo today.

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