Nice Face

Facial recognition software will end privacy once and for all.  Your face now provides marketers and the government with the ability to link that fabulous mug shot you put on Facebook to everything there is to know about you.  That’s right.  You thought you were just posting your smiley face for your friends to see?  Not exactly.

Queue the music:

The government has some restrictions with facial recognition software, but they are spending a ton of money to figure this out.  Retailers on the other hand have the ability to use your face to send you promotional offers – the linking between the on-line world and the off-line world.  Europe has tougher rules (You need to opt in there), but here in the US, the technology is way ahead of the law.  Even if you have never put your own picture up anywhere in the internet you can be found if you were included in any picture any one has ever taken of you.  So yes, Grandpa or Grandma who have refused to embrace anything digital and still read the paper in the morning, have been digitized and are therefore searchable.

A company called redpepper (www.redpepperland.com) has started a program called Facedeals.  Here is how it works.  Facial recognition cameras are installed at local businesses. These cameras recognize your face when you pass by, then check you in at the location. Simultaneously, your smartphone notifies you of a customized deal based on your Like history on Facebook.  Creepy?

Yes, there are companies out there today that are putting all the little fragments of your life together, both on-line and off-line to get to know you a little better.  They might know you, but you will never know them.  Minority Report is much closer than you might think.

Webman

Your Very Personal Pizza

As you know, information about you is being collected by many different organizations.  Companies like Acxiom and Experian for example have databases with your name on them and somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,400 attributes, from where you live to your demographic profile, magazines you may read, social sites you visit and so on.  Other companies such as your grocery store are capturing all of your transaction data so they are fully aware of what you purchase, when you purchase it and how much you paid for it.  Medical companies have databases on your health, the types of prescriptions you take etc.  Credit card companies know where you spend your money, on what and when.  Your phone company knows every call and text message you make.  Your smartphone provides many cool applications, most of which are “location based”.  Even your EZ Pass knows where you are, where you are going and where you have been.  Your neighborhood has a rating for crime, sexual predators, school ratings, walkability and many other facts that we find useful when selecting a place to live.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

We live in an information society where privacy has nearly been eliminated.  We live in a society where the amount of data being captured about us everyday is just staggering.  We live in a society that has the technology to munge (technology term) all of this data together and create a profile about you so they can “personalize” their experience with you.

Click on this link for a demonstration on what it may be like in the near future when you order a pizza.  Turn up the volume and watch the screen.

http://www.aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

So what do you think?

Please post your comments below for all to see.

Have a great day!

Webman

Sunglasses at Night

Looks like many people will start wearing glasses soon.  Not because their eye sight is deteriorating, not because the baby boomers are getting older, not because lasik surgery has been discontinued but because we will be able to use sunglasses now instead of our smartphones.  What?  I am just getting the hang of this smartphone thing and I can already move on.  Not totally, but once you read this, you might say, COOL, I need a pair of those.

In an article published in the New York Times recently, people who constantly check a smartphone for bits of information will soon be able to retrieve most of that information from a pair of Google-made glasses that will be able to stream information to the wearer’s eyeballs in real time.  The glasses will use an Android-based operating system and look like a pair of Oakley Thumps.

The glasses will have a low-resolution built-in camera that will be able to monitor the world in real time and overlay information about locations, surrounding buildings and friends who might be nearby. The glasses are not designed to be worn constantly,but will be more like smartphones, used when needed.  The glasses would tap into a number of Google software products that are currently available, but will display the information in an augmented reality view, rather than as a Web browser page like those that people see on smartphones.

Apparently Apple is working on a product as well.

I wear my sunglasses at night So I can so I can Watch you live and breathe your story lines
(And) I wear my sunglasses at night So I can so I can Keep track of the visions in my eyes
While she’s deceiving me It cuts my security (has) She got control of me I turn to her and say
Don’t switch the blade on the guy in shades, oh no Don’t masquerade with the guy in shades,
oh no I can’t believe it You got it made with the guy in shades, oh no
(And) I wear my sunglasses at night So I can so I can Forget my name while you collect your claim
And I wear my sunglasses at night So I can so I can See the light that’s right before my eyes

Sunglasses at NightCorey Hart

The glasses will have a unique navigation system, one that uses your head to scroll and click. They will send data to the cloud and use things like Google Latitude to share location, Google Goggles to search images and figure out what is being looked at, and Google Maps to show other things nearby.  Privacy hounds will have a field day with this one.  Now they are going to track whatever we look at.  Gentlemen, this could be a real issue.

So get ready for the next thing everyone.  Soon you will see everyone in glasses rolling their heads in all sorts of new ways to scroll and click.  I wonder what will happen when you roll your eyes?  🙂

Webman