Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I Don't Recognize the Face in the Mirror

"Push for facial recognition privacy standards hits roadblock" by Anne Flaherty Associated Press  June 17, 2015

WASHINGTON — Retailers have the ability to scan your face digitally and use that identification to offer you special prices or even recognize you as a prior shoplifter. But should they use it? Should they get your permission first?

Privacy advocates announced Tuesday that they had walked away from government-mediated talks with industry that were intended to answer such questions. The idea was to hash out voluntary protocols for the use of facial recognition technology in a way that would not hurt consumers. The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, was acting as mediator.

The two sides had been meeting for 16 months, until the nine major privacy groups that were involved said they had hit a dead end and that ‘‘people deserve more protection than they are likely to get in this forum.’’

‘‘At a base minimum, people should be able to walk down a public street without fear that companies they’ve never heard of are tracking their every movement — and identifying them by name — using facial recognition technology,’’ the groups said.

The total $urveillance grid is already here.


The debate on facial recognition is only likely to grow bigger as the technology becomes more ubiquitous. Facebook, for example, has long used facial recognition technology on its site, and it just announced a new companion mobile app, called ‘‘Moments,’’ that scans a phone’s camera roll to ease photo sharing. Microsoft says it is building facial-recognition and fingerprint-identification technology into Windows 10, the new computer operating system coming this summer.

Did you get all that? All the computers, laptops, phones, what have you, are going to be equipped with spying gear. Can't do with the gizmos though.

The biggest concern, however, among privacy groups is use of the technology by retailers, including casinos, to target and profile people. 

Oh, there are concerns are there?

One company, FaceFirst, announced last year that its system is capable of processing more than 1 million facial matches per second per server, making it ideal for these customers....

That flashed by so fast I almost missed it.


I told you I didn't like what was looking back at me.

Not liking what I'm hearing, either. 

Google the 800-pound gorilla in the room?