Face Recognition Comes to Bars
BioBouncer is a face recognition system intended for bars:
Its camera snaps customers entering clubs and bars, and facial recognition software compares them with stored images of previously identified troublemakers. The technology alerts club security to image matches, while innocent images are automatically flushed at the end of each night, Dussich said. Various clubs can share databases through a virtual private network, so belligerent drunks might find themselves unwelcome in all their neighborhood bars.
Anyone want to guess how long that "automatically flushed at the end of each night" will last? This data has enormous value. Insurance companies will want to know if someone was in a bar before a car accident. Employers will want to know if their employees were drinking before work -- think airplane pilots. Private investigators will want to know who walked into a bar with whom. The police will want to know all sorts of things. Lots of people will want this data -- and they'll all be willing to pay for it.
And the data will be owned by the bars thatcollect it. They can choose to erase it, or they can choose to sell it to data aggregators like Acxiom.
It's rarely the initial application that's the problem. It's the follow-on applications. It's the function creep. Before you know it, everyone will know that they are identified the moment they walk into a commercial building. We will all lose privacy, and liberty, and freedom as a result.
Posted on February 28, 2006 at 3:47 PM • 52 Comments