The other night 60 Minutes featured a story on biometrics and how it’s now pretty easy to find out who the heck you are pretty much anywhere just by getting a finger print or in this case a scan of your face. We check into bank with a card swipe or touching a finger pad, we get photoed hundreds of times a day without really knowing or perhaps caring. Those DMV cameras are on 24 hours a day, as are the security cameras at _______, so that should be no surprise. But that the camera can get the face, and it can then within seconds know its me….now that is technology at work. And while many may get a Big Brother complex, this has been around for a while. Just not in the face department.
So what interesting uses are there for all of this? Imagine walking into your favorite restaurant and the meal you always order begins preparation. Imagine walking into the bank and that $200 you always pull out is ready for you at the teller window. Imagine vegetables, meats, and other things you buy at the grocery store advertised on small screens as you pass by with the cart. All these are possible and to some degree already going on. Those big kiosks in the mall, advertising accessories for those things you bought last weekend, oh and your favorite movie begins in 45 minutes….do you want to have melted butter on your popcorn?
Perhaps the most concerning part of the story was with what ease companies, you know McDonalds, Walmart, AMC and others, have access to all this as well as how free they are to collect this info. As oppose to the FBI, Police Departments and other governmental agencies, who are there to protect us against that bank robber, forger or terrorist cannot get this data, or use it. That Big Brother watching may be, but how he gets to use the info is a whole nother thing.
Link to story – video – A Face in the Crowd