I always feel like, somebody’s watching ME!

2008 saw the release of one of Marvel’s lower list characters, but one who has recently risen to the top and become really well known by the world. The, now, A-list character is called Iron Man. In the first movie there is a scene where Tony Stark, the creator of the Iron Man suit, is testing out his new suit by attacking a terrorist organization called The Ten Rings. He uses a HUD (heads up display) to target the terrorists and then eliminate them with his weaponry without harming their hostages. For the scene in question, see below (starts at 0:16):

 

 

While we are probably not near Tony Stark’s technology yet, the invention of Google Glass has put us a step closer. What’s worrying is how Google Glass will be used. Ethics is a huge concern for anyone and has come into question with the varying plethora of electronics that we use daily. The smartphone is the leader of anti-privacy since they can capture sound, video, pictures, use geo-location, instant upload, instant access to social media, and more.

Google glass has taken this a step further since you no longer have to pull your phone out, unlock the screen, open the app, and use it. The wearer always has the functions ready to go at a moment’s notice and in the blink of an eye, literally.

There is now an app (short for application) which is called NameTag. It’s real-time facial recognition software. It “can detect a face using Google Glass camera, send it wireless to a server, compare it to millions of records, and in seconds return a match complete with a name, additional photos and social media profiles” (Boone, 2014).

What does this mean for us all? Even partial anonymity in public could become a thing of the past. Over “two million entries have already been uploaded to FacialNetwork.com” (Boone, 2014). To put that in perspective, Chicago has about 2.7 million people living in the city. This is just the beginning for this app.

For anyone who wanted to stalk someone, it may have just gotten easier. The worst part about this is you may have already been added to the database without even knowing. The app’s creators claim that it’s not about invading privacy (Boone, 2014). Good news though! You can opt out. All it takes is signing up with the app, when it goes live, and then opting out (Boone, 2014). Yeah, sounds a little more involved and invasive to me as well.

In a world where we are all concerned about the NSA, anonymity, and having some sort of privacy, our options are quickly becoming limited. There are some potentially good things that come with use of the app such as the transparency of criminal records for those who are skeptical of everyone around us or even using it to find out more about that cute girl or guy at the bar you’re afraid to approach because you don’t know what to talk about. The effects remain to be seen, but it’s easier to see more negative than positive aspects.

Curious about how it works in action while in beta?

 

References

 

Boone, J. (2014, February 04). Just when you thought google glass couldn’t get creepier: New app allows strangers to id you just by looking at you. E Online, Retrieved from http://www.eonline.com/news/507361/just-when-you-thought-google-glass-couldn-t-get-creepier-new-app-allows-strangers-to-id-you-just-by-looking-at-you

 

FacialNetwork. (Producer) (2014). Nametag – google glass facial recognition beta app demo [Web]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVwBXr_nU9Q

 

Marvel Studios. (Producer), & The Movie Geek, (Editor) (2013). Iron man’s first fight (hd) [Web]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Nepj_3Am9E&feature=youtu.be&t=16s

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2 thoughts on “I always feel like, somebody’s watching ME!

  1. I didn’t realize google glasses could possibly do instant facial recognition. The fact that anonymity even when just walking around in the city could be gone seems like a big shift in the amount of privacy we have in our lives.

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  2. I also didn’t realize that Google glasses might do instant facial recognition… Creepy. Especially considering it doesn’t lock like a smartphone does. And the fact that you can be added to the database without even knowing is definitely a breech in privacy. We are giving up a lot of privacy (in this case) for very little gain.

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