Facial Recognition Technology enables a new kind of crime

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Facial recognition technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in our daily lives. It’s a convenient and time-saving tool that makes it easier to unlock our smartphones, board airplanes, and use a myriad of apps. 

But with the ease and real-time convenience, comes a disturbing crime trend. In New York, this advanced technology has also enabled new types of crime.

Drug-facilitated robbery is a trend where thieves knock their victims out with date rape drugs. And then use facial recognition technology to unlock the victim’s smartphone.  Incapacitating victims is nothing new, but technology makes it easier for thieves to access their victims’ bank accounts.

Investigators in New York City have linked at least 43 techno-crimes to two separate groups of suspects. Several of the drugging incidents were fatal, and victims have included a business traveler, a local social worker, and a fashion designer.

Even though some of the victims were gay these crimes are believed to be for financial gain. And authorities do not believe these are hate crimes. Both groups of suspects operated in slightly different ways.