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Facial Recognition Security Camera: All You Need to Know

Facial Recognition Security Camera

With the introduction of facial recognition security cameras, verifying an individual's identity is no longer a futurist. When familiar faces are captured, these security cameras will recognize they are your family members or friends and won't trigger alarms. Otherwise, they will send you instant alerts so that you know someone may intrude into your property.

Does it sound like a fascinating security option? But that is not the end of the story. Facial recognition security cameras also bring some concerns you may face. Let's dive in and learn more about security cameras with facial recognition before adding one to the shopping cart.

Note: Facial recognition security cameras can possibly cause privacy infringements and data security risks, as they capture and analyze individuals' facial features and personal information. As a responsible security solution provider, Reolink consistently prioritizes user privacy. Consequently, Reolink cameras do not currently offer facial recognition capabilities. However, you can utilize alternative features, such as person or vehicle detection, to meet your needs.

How Facial Recognition Security Cameras Work

With facial recognition security cameras, you can easily safeguard your home and business while receiving fewer false alarms. So, how can facial recognition IP cameras recognize humans' and even pets' faces? Here is the explicit process:

1. Build Up Your Database of Familiar Faces

To make your facial recognition security cameras "learn" the faces, first off, you need to set up a database of your familiar faces. Practical methods include asking your family members and friends to stand in front of the cameras or showing their photos to the cameras.

Facial Recognition Camera Database

Standard facial recognition security cameras in the market can remember 16 to 32 faces, which is adequate for home and small business usage.

2. Security Cameras with Facial Recognition Will Detect and Match Faces

Facial recognition CCTV cameras use multiple methods and technologies to detect faces, including 3D modeling, comparing faces in images or videos, analyzing the entire faces or partial features, and so on. After acquiring the faces shown within their monitoring range, security cameras with facial recognition will compare them with those in the database via advanced algorithms and software.

3. Instant Alerts Will Be Sent Once Unknown Faces Are Detected

When facial recognition security cameras match faces in your database successfully, they will know there are familiar faces and won't alert you. On the contrary, if there are any unknown faces, facial recognition home security cameras will send you instant alerts or call the police automatically.

Benefits of Using Facial Recognition Security Camera

Aside from face identification, security cameras with facial recognition also come with other unique benefits that make them stand out. Here, we have listed several of them:

Deliver More Accurate Recognition Performance

With robust algorithms supported, facial recognition security cameras can significantly alleviate false alarms, including those triggered by changing light, tree movement, and even wind. This accuracy has also been approved by a piece of MIT research, which studied the 2018 facial recognition systems developed by Microsoft, IBM, and the China-based Face++ and indicated that their accuracy in distinguishing genders has hit 90% for light-colored skin males and 70% for females with darker skin.

It is also expected that security cameras with facial recognition will make it possible to recognize angled faces, faces covered with sunglasses or a mask, or even aged faces, which is almost impossible for conventional security cameras.

Detect Pets, Animals & Other Objects

Some top security camera brands have been pushing the boundaries of what facial recognition IP cameras can do, from recognizing human faces to detecting pets and other familiar objects in your daily life.

Object Detection of Facial Security Camera

Such a feature has become genuine thanks to the advanced facial recognition systems with AI technology and machine learning designed by tech firms like Google and Intel. Meanwhile, these AI-powered security cameras with facial recognition also prove themselves in an annual image recognition competition: they can do better than humans at classifying different corgi breeds.

Improve Security Level

As mentioned above, facial recognition IP cameras offer accurate results when identifying people and detecting animals and objects. Such CCTV cameras installed in your home or business can act as powerful "guards," which will send you instant alerts when they capture unknown faces or unwelcome visitors in your house or stores.

In addition to home and business usage, facial recognition IP cameras also find their way into more areas: airports, train stations, and other places with heavy foot traffic. With these security cameras, police officers can identify criminals and terrorists once they are under the surveillance cameras.

Provide Multiple Advanced Features

Aside from facial recognition, cutting-edge CCTV cameras with facial recognition can automatically track and record unknown people and cars with unfamiliar license plates around your house. Moreover, some facial recognition security cameras also come with heat map recording mode and analyses, contributing to more comprehensive protection for your home and business.

Concerns of Facial Recognition Security Cameras in Actual Use

Are you fascinated by the powerful facial recognition security cameras and would like to have a try? Before dipping your toes in the water, you may take a closer look at the concerns that you may have when using security cameras with facial recognition.

Relatively Higher Price

Like the price of cell phones back in the 1970s, the cost of facial recognition security cameras is relatively high now, ranging from $100 to over $300 for a single camera, making them less affordable than average face detection security cameras.

Price Range Facial Recognition Security Camera Options
$100-200 Aqara Hub G3, eufyCam E330, Tend Secure Lynx Pro, Netatmo Welcome
$201-300 Nest Hello, Nest Cam IQ
Above $300 Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, Honeywell Smart Home Security Starter Kit

Besides, some facial recognition security cameras or facial recognition security camera software may charge additional subscription fees starting from $10 per month, which is quite a cost in the long run.

Note: To avoid hidden costs, you may consult the sellers about the specific items and services included and not included in the price tag of the facial recognition IP cameras before purchasing.

Privacy Intrusion

Currently, some people are conservative about the widespread use of facial recognition security camera systems due to privacy concerns. Such concerns do not come out of thin air – Citizens may feel like they are being watched every second in public areas, and their personal information can be leaked without their consent.

Facial Recognition Security Camera May Harm Privacy

Facing privacy concerns and the social challenges brought by the usage of facial recognition IP cameras, some institutions have announced strict regulations to protect citizens' rights. For example, in Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) states that citizens enjoy their privacy rights, and any invasion of privacy shall face severe penalties. Meanwhile, Washington became the third US state to introduce a new law in 2017 to protect biometric data formally.

To prevent invasion of privacy, when applying facial recognition security cameras in your home or business, you may face the security cameras within your property or put on a surveillance sign as a notice.

Resource: THALES

Deliver Undesirable Results

Though more and more security camera brands race to develop and sell facial recognition security cameras, the performance of these CCTV cameras for sale now is not 100% accurate and largely depends on such factors as the CCTV camera angle, lighting, and changing outfits.

According to professional media reviews and customers' feedback, some unqualified facial recognition security camera systems may take a while to learn or not pick up on faces. Some irresponsible sellers deliberately advertise their products as facial recognition security cameras to mislead consumers. However, these security cameras lack advanced technology to recognize human faces.

When buying security cameras with facial recognition, choosing from reputable and reliable security camera brands is best to avoid purchasing fake ones.

Application of Facial Recognition Security Camera

Despite some possible concerns, facial recognition security cameras have various applications in various industries and scenarios.

Access Control

Facial security cameras can control access to specific areas. Employees and authorized personnel can enter office buildings by having their faces recognized. Airports and border control agencies can use facial recognition to verify travelers' identities. In hospitals, facial recognition security cameras can ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive areas like the ICU or operating rooms.

Surveillance and Public Security

Facial security cameras can also be used to enhance daily surveillance and enhance public security. Homeowners can use these cameras to allow authorized guests access to their properties. Facial security cameras can also record familiar faces and collect helpful evidence when crimes happen. Public cameras equipped with facial recognition can locate missing persons or identify suspects in criminal investigations.

Attendance Tracking

Facial security cameras can also be helpful for attendance tracking. Schools and universities can employ these cameras to track student attendance. Office buildings can use these cameras to track employees' time and daily attendance and eliminate the need for manual timekeeping.

Retail and Consumer Service

Businesses can also use facial recognition security cameras as a tool to optimize their services. For example, retailers can identify known shoplifters or VIP customers based on the results of facial recognition cameras and provide personalized customer service.

Best Alternative to Facial Recognition Camera

At present, facial recognition for security cameras is still a new technology, and it has yet to be fully developed, which also explains the imperfections in face identification. Meanwhile, facial recognition technology is also related to some possible concerns, such as privacy intrusion and inaccurate detection. Investing much in facial recognition security cameras may not be wise now.

In light of these considerations, Reolink has chosen not to incorporate facial recognition technology into their cameras. Instead, they have introduced affordable security solutions like smart detection cameras, which can provide accurate motion-triggered alerts to safeguard your home and business effectively.

As the sibling product of facial recognition security cameras, smart detection IP cameras with sensitive motion sensors, like Reolink RLC-823A 16X, can pan and tilt automatically to track movements within its field of view and allow you to zoom in 16X for more details.

Reolink RLC-823A 16X

Smart PTZ PoE Camera with Spotlights

4K 8MP Ultra HD, Person/Vehicle Detection, 16X Optical Zoom, Auto Tracking, Manual Pan & Tilt, Two-Way Audio, 190ft Night Vision, Live View.

Below is a video sample of Reolink RLC-823A 16X, which shows a deer staying in the woods.


No, Reolink cameras currently do not have this functionality due to potential privacy concerns associated with facial recognition technology. However, most Reolink cameras are equipped with sensitive motion sensors that allow for smart detection features like person, vehicle, and pet detection.

Whether or not facial recognition security cameras are legal depends on the specific laws and regulations in your country or region and how they are used. For example, in areas like the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) places strict requirements on collecting and processing personal data, including biometric data. Organizations must comply with GDPR when using facial recognition technology.

How can I protect myself from facial recognition?

Protecting yourself from facial recognition can be challenging as technology advances. For example, you can wear makeup, accessories (sunglasses), or anti-facial recognition clothing to obscure your key facial features. You need to be cautious about sharing personal photos and information online because social media platforms can be data sources for facial recognition.


Facial recognition security cameras work through hardware and software that capture and analyze facial features for identification and security purposes. This technology can be applied to numerous scenarios but still brings several possible concerns.

It's your turn now! What do you think of facial recognition security cameras? Would you purchase now or wait until the facial recognition technology becomes mature? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment below.


All Comments Are Welcome

Lorenz is an independent writer who is keen on security industry. She also loves to share new ideas and information of security life with readers.