Home > Food for Thought, Security and Privacy > 5 Unexpected Places You Can Be Tracked with Facial Recognition Technology

5 Unexpected Places You Can Be Tracked with Facial Recognition Technology

I urge you to read the full article. I exerpt some of it below, but will leave out most of the details. My own comments follow the excerpts. The full article is linked from the image below:


August 30, 2011

Earlier this summer Facebook rolled out facial recognition software that identifies users even when they appear in untagged photos. Like every other time the social networking site has introduced a creepy, invasive new feature, they made it the default setting without telling anyone. Once people realized that Facebook was basically harvesting biometric data, the usual uproar over the site’s relentless corrosion of privacy ensued. But facial recognition technology is hardly confined to Facebook — and unlike the social networking site, there’s no “opt-out” of leaving your house. 

Most facial recognition software could also be foiled by eyewear, a bad angle or somebody making a weird face. But nothing drives innovation like the promise of government contracts! In the past few years, face recognition technology has advanced substantially, moving from 2-d to 3-d scanning that can capture identifying information about faces even in profile.

As face recognition and other biometrics advance, the technology has begun to proliferate in two predictable realms: law enforcement and commerce. Here are 5 places besides Facebook you might encounter face recognition and other biometric technology — not that, for the most part, you would know it if you did.

1. The streets of America

2. The DMV

3. Las Vegas casinos, and Kraft and Adidas stores

4. Bars 

5. All of Japan


Under the guise of security, in more places in the “free world”, our identities are being abused by law enforcement and corporate entities, often to manipulate our fears and desires. This is, of course, most common in the USA and Japan.

Most frequently, the technologies of facial recognition are used not to “protect citizens from terrorism”, but to identify what people do in real world situations – in bars, at vending machines, hotels, restaurants, government offices, and street corners – so that the most powerful and well-heeled companies can sell you more things you do not need and that they can produce far more goods and services than necessary.

With governments willing to sell our basic human rights to corporations who want to make more money, at any cost, there may be no places left in the “free world” to be free of surveillance and corporate opportunism. Your every whim and fetish is being catered to. But at what expense?

All animals are equal… but some animals are much more equal than others.

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