November 13, 2011

Face Recognition Moves From Sci-Fi to Social Media - NYTimes.com

People have no inherent right to anonymity that I can find in our Constitution. Nevertheless, we all hope that we can have it in this electronic age. In my view, our anonymity evaporated the day we ordered Caller ID or began participating on the Internet. You can pretend to be anonymous, but that's a pipe dream given today's data mining technology.
 "...As SceneTap suggests, techniques like facial detection, which perceives human faces but does not identify specific individuals, and facial recognition, which does identify individuals, are poised to become the next big thing for personalized marketing and smart phones. That is great news for companies that want to tailor services to customers, and not so great news for people who cherish their privacy. The spread of such technology — essentially, the democratization of surveillance — may herald the end of anonymity..."
Facial recognition is but one more tool available, now to the masses of cell phone camera users, that drives the nail in coffin of Mr. and Ms Anonymity. Or I suppose we could all wear masks or burkas.


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