How do we respond when we’re told that the only stupid question is the one that wasn’t asked? Hopefully, we ask.
It’s particularly important as technology continues to advance, placing more and more information readily at our fingertips and moving away from the notion that arches, loops and whorls, those distinctive patterns of our fingerprints are the only reliable mode of human identification.
Facial recognition systems allow a computer app to identify and verify a person from a digital image or a video frame from a video source, using selected facial features and a database.
When used with other biometric technology, including those fingerprints and eye iris scans, facial recognition can be extremely accurate at identifying us, but what’s beyond the pale is the social laissez-faire towards facial technology.
More often it’s being used on social media to identify who attended the bachelorette bash, the summer cook-out or the family reunion and it’s posted without intent of malice. Those smiling faces, young and old gathered together to celebrate life.
All very neatly named and tagged on FaceBook, Instagram and on SnapChat, and all shared with family and friends who weren’t invited, or who for a myriad of reasons, were unable to attend. So many digital photographs curated and posted on the internet, forever.
And what about the little round faces, with pudgy cheeks who unknowingly and unwittingly have their photos taken over and over? So innocent, just a photo taken of a little girl, that should never have become a part of an illegal drug ring, or reappear in a trade magazine or be confiscated in a botched raid, one that included fake IDs’, but some how did. And years later, that little girl grows up and is interrogated or denied international travel, misidentified because an age progressed photo “guesstimated” her adult facial features? We humans, after all have but one face to be digitalized, recognized and identified.
Children grow up, people grow old and fancy pictures of our younger selves. Humored by how young we looked, but somehow, long after time and the natural elements of this world have caused our faces to wrinkle and our memories have begin to fade, what about all those photos? Who’ll ask us then, is that a picture of you?