Caught In The Web
A new Swiss mobile software program, called Recognizr, has been created by Polar Rose that allows a user to point their cellular device at a person and instantaneously access personal data. This takes the social networking craze a step further by incorporating direct, real-life contact into media networks. The software uses state-of-the-art facial recognition personal-use software that uses a 5 megapixel photo, taken by the device, that creates a unique signature by combining measurements of facial features and building a 3-D model that automatically cross-references the database. If the user is registered for the service then information of that user is beamed back to your phone, such as their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Of course, when hearing about such technology, a red flag is raised for many about privacy and security. In response, the company assures that these privacy concerns were taken very seriously with the design of this program, given that Recognizr is a purely "opt-in service," in which people have to upload a photo and profile of themselves and grant their consent to be in it. Regardless of how it is viewed ethically, this technology represents an evolution in personal facial recognition software that opens the doors for new designs for both federal and personal use.
In the meantime, the Recognizr software will be looking to collaborate and design a new product utilizing this new instantaneous ID technology, which will require partnerships with a "device maker, a mobile service provider, and social networking services." Only time will tell if these partners will be in the private or government sector. A tool such as this raises new concerns about privacy issues amongst government, corporate, and individual use, in which identities are instantaneously connected via the internet, truly ensuring that we are within its web.
Image: "Recognizr" by abulhussain on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.