Stuart Wakeling

Facing the future

Blog Post created by Stuart Wakeling Employee on Jun 17, 2015

Wouldn't it be cool to walk down the street and your face is scanned via facial recognition technology? You are then identified and your phone receives messages telling you of things that are of interest based on your geolocation and your browser search history.


Err, not really at least to my way of thinking. Frankly I think it would be terrifying and it would seem I am not the only one with concerns about how this technology is being developed without adequate safeguards for security.


Facial recognition talks have collapsed over this very issue (Facial-recognition talks collapse over privacy issues) and this should hardly be surprising given the unprecedented growth in cyber crime - see Akamai's State of the Internet Security report.


Sure we have fingerprints and biometric data collected when we travel into the USA but capturing your face electronically and remotely without your express consent is something else entirely. The concern I have is well expressed by CJ Cregg in the West Wing when she learns the US government via DARPA is doing gait analysis and testing mind control.  Of course not every DARPA project is science fiction. You're reading this article over the World Wide Web which sits on top of the Internet that was a DARPA project back in the 1960's to ensure reliable communication in the event of a cold war.


Nevertheless, while I'm a fan of the Internet and technology and how they can be combined to improve our lives, I can't help but wonder where you draw the line. How much are you willing to trust those with the information they capture and store and what choice do you have if you don't even know the data was even captured in the first place?