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Is the World Ready For Facial Recognition On Google Glass? 469

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the creeps-only dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Since the first demonstration of the plausible future abilities of Google Glass, instant facial recognition has been one of the most exciting ideas in the pipeline. According the the development group Facial Network, the time for real-time facial recognition through Google Glass is coming a lot sooner than we originally expected. This isn't an app developed by Google, it's a 3rd party developer group — they've gone and done it first!" The application is not on the Play store due to the ban on facial recognition. It performs real time recognition, and pulls information from public databases. The authors intend to allow people to opt-out of the recognition database.
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Is the World Ready For Facial Recognition On Google Glass?

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  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @04:23AM (#45773563)

    This sort of application is like file shaing: it's just gonna happen, whether you like it or not. You can't legislate it away, and you can't make facial recognition technology disappear by punching people in the face. In both cases, someone will come up with smart contact lenses (or something else that's pretty much undetectable) even faster, and you'll be none the wiser.

    Get ready to live in a panopticon world. It'll happen. It's already happened in fact [bbc.co.uk]...

  • Opt out? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @04:24AM (#45773569)

    So if I don't want my name popping up on some random Glass-hole's screen whenever I have the misfortune to be in one's proximity, I have to go find some random app's website and opt out? How is that supposed to actually work in practice?

    Anyone know if those LED baseball caps really work? What about a can of spray paint, aimed at the Glass-hole?

  • No opt-out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperDre (982372) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @04:25AM (#45773571) Homepage
    It shouldn't be opt-out, it should be opt-in.... People wearing google glasses should really be carefull, as more and more people will not stand you wearing one while facing them (and I don't blame them)..
  • Re:No opt-out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @04:41AM (#45773653)

    It can't be opt-in. How could it be? Would you opt-in for something that lets you be tracked and recognized everywhere by anybody (and more importantly by evil corporations)? Would you opt-in to receive telemarketer calls at home? Would you opt-in to get spam emails?

    Of course not: even if you only have doubts about something, your doubts make you *not* opt-in.

    That's why every service that people don't want or don't like are opt-out only: for one thing, the bastards who foist it on us hope people will be too lazy to jump through the hoops to opt-out, and as an added bonus, the opt-out database itself can be mined and monetized.

    In any case, even if you opt out, how will you know your mug won't be tracked anyway? Do you believe in corporate morals? Who's the overseeing body? The government? Do you believe in government morals?

  • Glass users! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KliX (164895) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @04:49AM (#45773703)

    I hope you're ready to get the shit kicked out of you, because that's inevitably what's going to happen. I can't really see how it isn't going to happen.

    I suspect it'll happen so frequently, that the police in any state won't even bother to charge anyone doing so with a crime after a short while.

    Good luck!

  • Yes! Please! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @04:54AM (#45773725)

    I am completely unable to remember the names of people even in my small office. "Oh, you need to talk to Sam about that"... Shit. Sam who? I can't ask; I've been here three years! And the name's gender neutral even!

    The ten or so people I interact with on a daily basis; fine - but beyond that? Argh!

    So yes. Yes please. This is a WONDERFUL aid for an uncommon disability. And pretty much EVERY feature of wearable computing that was promised to be useful; context-based calenders, noting down things you're asked to do as you're asked to do them, showing who you promised to do stuff for and what it was - it all requires recognising who someone is.

    This can't come quickly enough. If this actually works (and I doubt it, facial recognition always goes wrong at first), I'll buy one.

  • by golodh (893453) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @04:54AM (#45773727)
    The mistake that people focused on technology make is the extent to which unwanted behaviour can be repressed.

    It all depends on what society at large thinks is a worthwhile price to pay. Take file sharing (of copyrighted files) for example. It's perfectly possible to stamp it out: just legislate to allow the MPAA and RIA to demand all ISP's to install monitoring software and match whatever you upload to a database of signatures of copyrighted works. The Snowdon papers show that it's very likely that the infrastructure is available to do just that.

    Encryption is of course to be outlawed for use by private citizens. US-style "damages" will pay for the enforcement effort and file sharing will be killed in short order.

    Of course there are such pesky things like the first amendment that would get in the way, but those are only *legal* and *political* obstacles, not technological ones. Which means they can be removed whenever people feel like it. And people's perception of what is or isn't acceptable can be changed by abuses of technology.

    For example, it's perfectly possible to legislate that whoever uploads your mug without your consent is liable for damages (freeing the ones pictured from having to prove any actual damages) and legislate that all and any ISPs and hosting companies must give their full cooperation and assist anyone who can show that their picture has been uploaded without their consent to identify the perpetrator. That would also necessitate the end of anonymous internet access.

    What you really mean is that you don't wish for this to happen, not that it can't happen for technological (or political) reasons.

    If you thought that no amount of political pressure can effectively take away your rights to upload pictures of people, just wait until the first pedophile ring is discovered scouting schools for attractive "candidates" using Google Glasses and putting the lot online for perusal.

    Unfortunately people have a way of abusing new technology in ways that lead to hitherto unheard of legal constraints.

  • Re:Glass users! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @05:01AM (#45773749)

    I hope you're ready to get the shit kicked out of you, because that's inevitably what's going to happen. I can't really see how it isn't going to happen.

    So your fear is someone having the capability to record live video, and your response is to do violence against this person? I imagine the first app for Google Glass will be "record the last 10 seconds in a loop, beam to 911 and lawyer's office when glasses are broken".

    Good luck yourself.

  • Re:No opt-out (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @05:02AM (#45773751)

    This. If someone stares at me wearing those things without asking me first, I'll punch him or her in the face.

  • by ApplePy (2703131) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @05:05AM (#45773761)

    you can't make facial recognition technology disappear by punching people in the face.

    No. But you can make one person at a time stop using it.

  • Re:No opt-out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @05:13AM (#45773775)

    Google glass is and has NEVER been meant to be a real marketable item, it is meant to see if people will accept it into society, and THEN put the lenses of cameras into 'normal' looking glasses, that you can't tell have the camera, or onto breast pocket or necklace deocrations, with the HUD eyepiece being built into normal looking glasses.

    Google glass purposely looks like glasses +(something) so that google can learn how others react to it.

    I thought all this was obvious, but apparently not from seeing everyone's reactions to this... PLUS what is everyone going to do when people have camera implants to give vision to the blind... or just 'body modification/improvement' ... THAT is the real question that we as a society need to address... also... gods... the MPAA/RIAA is going to bitch/moan about replacement eyes... and probably try to have DRM put into them so that they can't record movies/music, or turn off when you walk into a theater :/

  • by Ultra64 (318705) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @05:25AM (#45773837)

    When did Slashdot become so full of luddites?

    Years ago there would have been nothing but comments full of ideas for amazing things you accomplish using a device like this.

    Now it seems like the site is populated almost entirely by pubescent teenagers acting macho and boasting how they'd beat someone up and break their glasses.

  • Re:Killer App (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @05:34AM (#45773871) Journal

    I have prosopagnosia, but I prefer the stress/awkwardness over people being able to know my name at a glance whether I trust them or not. From firsthand experience, having your name makes it feasible for an unstable, pissed-off, or obsessed individual to track down your contact info, school, workplace, home, and family members; even if they don't do any real damage, the situation can become really fucking creepy and last a very long time.

    I also just don't want to make it any easier for the government or law enforcement to keep track of me everywhere I go.

  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @05:44AM (#45773907) Journal

    I'd love facial recognition. I have a really bad memory for names and faces, and I often end up in the embarrassing situation of meeting someone in the street who knows who I am but I only vaguely recognise their face and certainly don't remember their name. Having a prosthetic "face to name" system would save me from many embarrassing situations.

  • Re:Ready or not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @05:51AM (#45773925) Homepage

    The authors intend to allow people to opt-out of the recognition database.

    How about letting us opt in to the database?

  • by Calydor (739835) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @05:59AM (#45773965)

    No, laws about assault, battery etc. mean you can't punch people in the face.

    That and being a decent human being.

  • Re:Yeah. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @06:04AM (#45773983) Homepage

    Assault someone in view of a wirelessly connected camera. That's a genius plan.

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @07:16AM (#45774263) Journal

    Having a prosthetic "face to name" system would save me from many embarrassing situations.

    I have that too and this is still super creepy to me. Learn to deal with it, by replying something like "oh hi how are you" and winging it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @07:35AM (#45774345)

    That... and the fact that some of us carry guns... if you punch us in the face, unless you're prepared to follow through and kill us, we'll shoot you dead...

    Rest assured if someone ever walked up to me and just punched me in the face and knocked me down, if I'm still breathing and able, I'd draw and fire at them, assuming they mean to kill me.

    And the laws here allow me to do it. The minute you use physical force against someone, deadly force is a legal response.

    However, I suspect the poster above you was just trying to be a funny troll. :)

    Probably, but you are scary. You honestly think it is ok to shoot someone for punching you in the face? I guess this explains why US gun deaths are on par with 3rd world countries and war zones.

  • by rich_hudds (1360617) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @07:54AM (#45774387)
    Yep, no thought about the grieving widow, children, parents. BLAM, look at ME! I can pull a trigger.

    Gun nuts are like tweeny boys waiting for their bits to grow.
  • by rich_hudds (1360617) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @08:01AM (#45774417)
    Humans aren't designed to have full recall, even actors generally dislike watching their own performances.

    Imagine being able to watch you whole life, it could cause massive mental problems.

    How would you ever get over a broken heart if you could replay all of your happiest moments alongside the mistakes you'd made.

    Recording our lives is just asking for a tsunami of unforeseen consequences.
  • Re:Ready or not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arker (91948) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @08:14AM (#45774451) Homepage Journal

    If it were feeding into your own personal storage and prevented from being phoned home I wouldnt even care. But we both know that isnt how it works and isnt how its going to work. And given the reality, your actions constitute assault on everyone around you. You shouldnt really be surprised if some of them defend themselves physically.

    "No one would opt in so it's not a good idea."

    In other words you realize that "no one" consents to this, so what makes you think it's ok to do it anyhow?

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @08:49AM (#45774559) Homepage

    Years ago adverts didn't follow you around the web, stalking you. Companies like Facebook didn't create shadow profiles of people who hadn't even signed up. The NSA/GCHQ wasn't known to be spying on everyone and strongly suspected of having access to traffic from this kind of application to build a vast tracking/facial recognition database without the need to get approval for rolling out the technology themselves.

    Basically, there wasn't the abuse that there is now, at least not on such a large scale.

  • Re:Ready or not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blackest_k (761565) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @08:52AM (#45774567) Homepage Journal

    No one would opt in so it's not a good idea.

    Maybe that should be a social cue, that it is unacceptable behaviour on your part, your attention is unwanted.

    People are not computers most of them have feelings they like some people they don't like others and most people respond negatively to being catalogued and targeted for adverts, this would be similar behaviour.

    knowing my name will not be a positive thing for you, as you obviously do not give a monkeys about me just how you can use me to your advantage. At a minimum I will ignore you, if you persist I may do something negative this might be as passive as choosing your competitors to do business with instead of your company.

    Maybe meeting and greeting is just not your strong suit, perhaps somebody else should be doing it instead? I'm not saying this because I am good with names and faces, far from it. If you want to get people on side with you then you talk to them not stalk them.

    You do not want to be known as the creepy socio-path with Google glass.

    Being prepared to enter a situation with relative strangers prepared to assault them is rather worrying. If I had a problem with you and your creepy behaviour. I could complain to the event organisers who would probably ask you to remove your google glass or have you ejected from the building if you refused. There is no need to get involved with you in a physical confrontation. In fact if I really wanted all I need to do is mention to a female colleague that you are scanning her with google glass and you will be ejected and possibly police called.

  • by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @10:21AM (#45775007)

    ...saying they'll punch someone in the face if they wear Google Glass near them.

    Without looking at any other comments, was I right?

  • by NEW22 (137070) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @10:38AM (#45775165)

    Humans are flexible. I'm sure we'll find a way to deal with it, like we have everything else that's come along.

  • Re:Ready or not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arker (91948) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @11:43AM (#45775699) Homepage Journal

    "It doesn't know anything about you that isn't out in the public."

    I find it difficult, nay impossible, to believe that that is *and will always remain* the case.

    This thing is taking pictures and phoning them home for identification. You really believe the system it sends them to will not keep them and store them and use them to the fullest extent?

    I have never put a picture of me on the web. Nonetheless google manages to find a couple (one they grabbed out of my account and put to nefarious use without permission.) How much worse will that get when a significant number of people become walking surveillance points for them?

  • by tranquilidad (1994300) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @12:44PM (#45776101)

    There are 19 states that impose some "duty to retreat" [volokh.com].

    It is not reasonable to think that deadly force, or any force for that matter, is a justified response when "any" physical act is visited upon you.

    However, a duty to retreat is very complicated and requires a jury to agree with your point of view; whether you are the prosecutor or the defendant.

    I teach defensive firearm classes and concealed handgun permit classes. One of the things I teach is that if you're paying attention you should never have to draw your weapon and, if you do, it is unlikely you will have to fire a shot. However, students always raise a ton of "what if" questions.

    I always answer the "what if" questions by explaining that if you're able to stand there and objectively go through a check list justifying why you're in fear of losing your life or of grievous bodily harm then you are probably not justified in using deadly force. When faced with impending death or serious bodily injury you will not be analyzing legal options; you will be trying to survive. When trying to survive, the firearm becomes one of many tools available to you to aid in your survival. Another tool includes tactically retreating.

    I apologize when someone bumps into me even when it's their fault. I back away from aggressive drivers to avoid road rage incidents. I tend to be quite deferential to jerks and their rude behaviors. I want to avoid trouble and I go out of my way to make sure I do. I understand that someone might be acting like a jerk because they've had a rough morning or are just having a bad life in general. They aren't my problem and I will do whatever I can to keep them from becoming my problem.

    On the other hand, if someone punches me it will be difficult for me to believe it is anything other than the start of an ongoing attack and will do whatever I have to do to survive. If increasing distance from my attacker is possible then I will do so because it is the safest, most efficient way to stop the immediate threat and to ready myself to respond with greater force if necessary.

    In force-on-force simulations it is not unusual to see someone "run away" from the danger presented. The analysis and de-brief after the exercise centers on whether the person being attacked ran away in the safest and most effective way possible. The de-brief doesn't include admonition on why the student should have used their gun to stop the attack. Running away safely is a valid tool to survival.

    I get nervous and become uncomfortable when someone, even joking, threatens violence. I winced when I read the parent post that started this discussion where the poster said, "doesn't mean I can't punch someone in the face." That attitude of justifiable violence for being offended is what scares me and it's fairly prevalent in these comments. Then again, I suspect that most of the people advocating a punch to the face are, as you call them, "internet tough guys" and, I hope, wouldn't actually commit the act of violence they are so quick to advocate.

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