Probably one of the most disturbing pieces of new technology, which is being held back because it is known that it upsets much of the public, is face recognition. You know all those picture of yourself you have put up on Facebook and all those profile pictures you have uploaded to other sites? Well, you have nicely provided Facebook and Google with wonderful databases on which to develop face matching programs. Even if you delete the pictures, they are still in the databases. Google Glasses have an app that recognizes human faces. Google won’t dare release it to the general public. Facebook is capable of automatically tagging almost all the people in Facebook photos with the names of the Facebook members.
I’m quite split on my feelings about this technology. I’m not young any more and there are cases where people who know me approach me and I am embarrassed that I do not immediately recognize them. Imagine wearing a pair of Google Glasses that would quickly analyze this person’s face and not only give you their name but a quick bio!
But the potential to scam and con people is certainly present. Imagine being approached by someone who tells you they have not seen you for a long time and proceeds to demonstrate they know who you are. They then follow with something like – “hey I wouldn’t ask this of a stranger but could you help me out of a jam by loaning me $20?”
Other people seem to freak out over the use of this technology by governments to identify people in surveillance photographs. That somehow does not bother me living in the US, but it might if I lived under a totalitarian regime. On the hand, a guy sitting in a shopping mall using his Google Glasses to identify every young woman who walks by and retrieve information on her does.