Creepy or Cool? Your Face Will Be Your Passport (Facial Recognition Has Started at Sydney Airport)

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Creepy or Cool? Your Face Will Be Your Passport (Facial Recognition Has Started at Sydney Airport)

Scott LiebermanCreepy or Cool? Your Face Will Be Your Passport (Facial Recognition Has Started at Sydney Airport)Million Mile Secrets Team

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Scott:   Oh, Big Brother!

“Your face will be your passport and boarding pass.  There will be no fumbling for passports,” Sydney Airport’s chief executive, Geoff Culbert, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

To kick it off, a test group of Qantas international passengers have started using the facial recognition technology at Australia’s busiest airport, where 43 million travelers pass through each year.

Today the airport released a statement that passengers can complete most parts of their trip using their face as their “access identification.”

Phase one automates:

  • check-in
  • bag drop
  • lounge access
  • boarding

Next up will be mobile check-in and border processing.

OK, sure it’ll be convenient, much like using your face to access your phone.  But… am I the only semi-paranoid person here who sees potential for disaster?

I suppose it all comes down to trust.

Do you trust your government or airport or airline to

1. Safeguard your information

2. Not use it beyond the scope of its intended purpose

Dark Thoughts

We all know about the many humongous data breaches that have “Equifaxed” our personal information to potential criminals.  This would be another juicy “Target” for hackers and other “yahoos.”

As you’ve probably heard, authorities in China are using facial recognition technology to send out jaywalking tickets.

Cameras are cheap now.  So it’s not too much of a problem to capture clear footage and match it to a database.  This system in China will be extended to traffic violations and more.  At at least one rail station in China, police officers have smart glasses to spot wanted criminals.

And that all sounds warm and fuzzy like the RoboCop movies.  But there’s the always-dangerous possibility of what’s next.

Did you participate in a peaceful protest of some sort?  Your face, name, and information are easily logged.

Are you a school teacher by day but a party animal by night?  Your employer easily follow you around to see if you’ve broken any moral codes to terminate your employment.

Or perhaps the complete loss of anonymity will make everyone behave!  After all, kids don’t steal from the cookie jar when mom is watching.

Many of my friends kind of shrug it off by saying they have nothing to hide.  So maybe I’m too concerned about the abstract idea of every person’s every movement being recorded and tracked.  I’m not sure.  It just seems creepy to me.

What do you think?  Let’s say facial recognition is rolled out to airports worldwide.  Will you opt-in?  Or will you go through the presumably slower lane because you don’t want your face in a database?

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Shelley Lacroix

Don’t understand why they don’t use fingerprints. Seems that people can disguise themselves easily to fake an entry.

This reminds me of how Apple moved from their Touch ID fingerprint, to the Face ID on the iPhone X. I remember they said it was more secure than a fingerprint. Maybe the same logic?

Must be! Seems to me a finger would be harder to duplicate. I guess we will see!

Forget the government. Nothing is going to stop technology from tracking us. The big companies that we all love, own us. Amazon is building face tracking software. Google and Facebook know every move we make on the computer.

Don’t think for a second because they seem like liberal minded companies they have our best interests in mind.

People use to complain about Microsoft being a monopoly. The largest tech companies today are many times more powerful and intrusive and almost no one complains. I guess if you are cool enough we don’t mind if you know everything about us.

Imagine for the Trump haters if Trump was in charge of Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook. How would you feel about your data. And now realize that those companies are there to make money so it does not matter who is in charge or how likeable they seem to be.

We should never be past the point of worry when it comes to our information being collected and stored and used for purposes that we didn’t authorize. Sometimes saving a little time isn’t worth what we have to give up in exchange. It’s like saying Drumpf is only in office for years. A lot of damage has been and continues to be done. We can’t be complacent.

I think we are way past the point of worrying anymore. In one form or another, your government already has your face in a DB somewhere ( license, school ID’s). It would have been great to move somewhere in the Mountains of Montana before the digital age got moving… then, maybe you’d still be a stranger. 🙂

Scott Lieberman

Thanks, Jose! I guess the difference now is there is biometric data — meaning the measurements of your face and all that.

So I’m going to have to inform the airlines when I get my collagen lip injections!