5 Unexpected Places You Can Be Tracked With Facial Recognition Technology
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Meanwhile, the East Bay Express reported that bars throughout the Bay Area were actually streaming video to an app called "BarSpace" that lets people check out the bar in real time -- so presumably anyone with an iPhone could easily check where you are and who you're drunkenly flirting with without you knowing it. The investigation found that most bar patrons are not aware they're being filmed. Is an app wedding SceneTap's face recognition technology to BarSpace coming down the pike?
This is not the first time biometric tools have invaded bars. In 2006, a program called BioBouncer let bouncers take pictures of incoming patrons and scan them against a database to pick out troublemakers. Bar owners shared a large database of information. According to the company behind the technology, information about law-abiding bar patrons would get dumped at the end of the night, reported Wired. Of course, there was no way to guarantee that indefinitely. Or guarantee that bar owners wouldn't share the info with the police, or with private investigators, or with data collection companies, as security expert Bruce Schneier pointed out at the time.
5. All of Japan
As far as commercial uses of facial recognition technology, Japan is way ahead of the curve. So here are some things we may be looking forward to:
a) Vending machines: Japanese vending machines suggest soft drinks based on stereotypes based on your gender and age (and the weather).
b) Billboards: Japanese billboards contain technology that figures out a person's sex and age to within 10 years, and presents them with the appropriate advertising.
c) Truck stops: A truck stop uses facial recognition to gauge the alertness of drivers.
d) Hotels and restaurants: NTDtv reports Omron, a Japanese technology company, equips hotels and restaurants with the technology to let them flag VIP guests.
e) Service work: According to Reuters, Omron also uses a "smile-scan" allowing service companies to ensure their employees evince the appropriate levels of enthusiasm on the job.
While there's nothing inherently wrong with advances in biometrics, there are also no inherent limits for its use and abuse, as EFF's Tien points out. So it's important to always ask who's controlling the cameras and the databases, and for what purpose.