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Through a Face Scanner Darkly 336

An anonymous reader writes in with a story that raises the issue of how public anonymity is quickly disappearing thanks to facial recognition technology. "NameTag, an app built for Google Glass by a company called, offers a face scanner for encounters with strangers. You see somebody on the sidewalk and, slipping on your high-tech spectacles, select the app. Snap a photo of a passerby, then wait a minute as the image is sent up to the company's database and a match is hunted down. The results load in front of your left eye, a selection of personal details that might include someone's name, occupation, Facebook and/or Twitter profile, and, conveniently, whether there's a corresponding entry in the national sex-offender registry."
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Through a Face Scanner Darkly

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  • Face identified! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 02, 2014 @09:52PM (#46137087)

    By donning your Glasshole Identifier, your face will also be immediately recognizable as belonging on the National Pervy Googler Registry, to be shunned by all decent company.

  • by feufeu ( 1109929 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @09:59PM (#46137121)
    I want to be able to meet someone and get to know him/her by actually talking to him/her.

    And no, I don't give a fuck about sex offender list crazyness.

    I do not want *anybody* to tell me who i should be afraid of or not.

  • Great.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @10:06PM (#46137169)

    Great, anther toy encouraging society to regress back to adolescent behavior...with much higher stakes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 02, 2014 @10:16PM (#46137233)

    Maybe we should update our privacy laws and stop allowing companies and the government to store all this information about us in shitty databases to begin with.

  • by feufeu ( 1109929 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @10:17PM (#46137251)
    Nothing, for now.

    Everyone wearing stupid Google glasses, in a dystopian future.

    I hope I am not the only one here who would have an awkward feeling if I knew that someone I meet just did at least the equivalent of a Google search on me before we even talk.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 02, 2014 @10:20PM (#46137273)

    Soon, there will be other heads-up displays. This is one of the more useful applications for them. I'm looking forward to seeing how well it works.

    I need to find a girl at my university that needs some tuition money, and pay her to walk into the women's locker room wearing google glass in record mode. Is there an app for that yet?

  • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @10:43PM (#46137383)

    The inconvenience of forgetting someone's name is far far less problematic than the psychological and social damage pervasive surveillance does to society. I don't see how you can be conflicted at all..

  • 2 things (Score:5, Insightful)

    by memnock ( 466995 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @10:46PM (#46137397)

    1. Fuck you very much, and any other company that wants to deanonymize everyone.

    2. Why the sex offender registry for starters? Is trying to scare everyone into thinking that the country is overrun by sex offenders? You can piss in an alley (not that that's generally a pleasant thing) and end up on a list with people who have committed violent sexual assaults. To me there is a huge gap in the moral turpitude between the two. The latter of the two examples is probably someone to be weary of, but I don't know if the former is necessarily someone any worse than someone who uses illegal drugs.

  • Re:2 things (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gnoshi ( 314933 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @11:35PM (#46137613)

    Well, when there are 17.4 million users of a drug in the US alone eventually one of them will be a crazed cannibal.
    In 2012 there was that New York cop [] charged with plotting to murder and eat women. There are only about 795,000 police in the US so perhaps being a cop is a stronger indicator of a potential cannibal than cannabis use.

  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @11:55PM (#46137733)

    "You don't have to justify your non-hate of a convicted sex-offender by downplaying their guilt. It's perfectly acceptable to say that he committed a crime, and has changed his life, and is now a law-abiding citizen."

    Why don't YOU accept the fact that some things that get people on sex-offender registries are inherently ridiculous, and therefore a travesty of justice?

    Did you know that in some states, going out behind the tavern and peeing in the bushes because the bathroom is full can get you put on a sex-offender registry for life?

    The laws are fucking ridiculous and need to change. Sure, some people are guilty of horrendous crimes. But taking people who have committed a pretty damned trivial offense, and lumping them together for life with child rapists, is at least as offensive as those child rapists.

    Look up the actual laws. Get a clue.

  • by weilawei ( 897823 ) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:03AM (#46137781) Homepage
    Do the rest of humanity a favor and stop asking people to make assumptions, especially FUD assumptions. The parent has experience with this person above--why should they change their opinion of their ability and performance in the workplace?

    More importantly, the poster DID NOT say they "choose to believe that this particular person was never a criminal" but rather that the charge is so common as to be virtually useless for assignment of actual guilt, without further information. To take ANY side AT ALL, either for or against, without further evidence beyond the name of the charge and the inclusion on the sex offendor registry, is to make an assumption. The parent, presumably, was not present at the trial, and so would not have been exposed to that information.

    DO NOT interpret this as a defense of anyone in particular. This is a defense of the idea that you should not make assumptions about a person based on incomplete evidence. Otherwise, you're lumping in high school kids dating each other with violent rapists and middle aged people molesting children.
  • Re:Do Not Want (Score:5, Insightful)

    by weilawei ( 897823 ) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:11AM (#46137817) Homepage
    Whoosh. When you beat THEM up, and THEY whine, the government goes after YOU, not THEM. That's why you don't martyr them. You think the government is against the idea of people walking around with these all the time, sending data over networks they can tap? It's one of the best presents they could've asked for, and you want to take it away? Good luck not going to jail...
  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:17AM (#46137861)

    "You seem just as adamant that this person you don't know at all is most likely guilty."

    And this is a very good illustratration of one of the BIG problems with such registries: no matter how trivial the crime, people will assume (A) that you're guilty, and (B) that you are a child rapist, even if you were only convicted of a trivial offense.

    Studies have shown that people almost never inquire why someone is on a registry. Instead they just assume the worst.

    And it also shows why a national registry is an outrageously BAD IDEA. A person who was an offender in one state would face a lifetime stigma, even in other states where the "offending" activity was perfectly legal.

  • by Nephandus ( 2953269 ) on Monday February 03, 2014 @12:46AM (#46137999)
    Because that's how blue collar guys get laid? Keep it classholic, Feminazi.
  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Monday February 03, 2014 @03:43AM (#46138673) Homepage

    Marking complete strangers as sex offenders based on lookup of a name found using facial recognition... what could possibly go wrong?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 03, 2014 @03:49AM (#46138691)
    0) He served his time.
    1) He may not even have committed the crime.
    2) Whether or not he did or not, he served his time. See 0)

    If that's not enough why not:
    a) execute them
    b) imprison them for life
    c) once they have served their time, give them the option of living in pleasant "sex offender" reservations where their legal needs will be provided for and they can live comfortably for the rest of their life, where they don't have to be amongst all those people that don't want to be with them.

    Otherwise what would you have these excriminals do? Forever be unable to easily get a job or house? After all there are calls for more women in XYZ fields, so how many decent jobs can he get that won't have women especially in this climate?

    Sexual offender registries are a life sentence.
  • by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Monday February 03, 2014 @09:43AM (#46139825) Journal

    Because my little 16-year-old Susie is a good girl, and would never have consented to blowing dudes behind the bleachers, so she must have been raped!

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer