You Won’t Smile if You’re On This Candid Camera

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How would you like being banned from shopping in hundreds or even thousands of stores, because a security camera once caught you shoplifting? And how would you like it if you hadn’t shoplifted, the hi-tech fancy robots got it wrong, and you were severely punished for something you not only didn’t do, but had never even been arraigned and put on trial for?

They call it “facial recognition,” and there are no rules (https://www.cnet.com/news/with-facial-recognition-shoplifting-may-get-you-banned-in-places-youve-never-been/). If the robot says you’re guilty, that’s that. No appeal. In fact, you don’t need to commit a crime, to wind up on somebody’s watch list. Because there are no rules to decide who is to be put on the list, or why, or who is to be left off. Big Brother will be watching–all the time.

So far it’s not the government doing this (not that we know of!), but chains of stores, airports, concert venues, tunnel entrances–all private concerns. But don’t let that comfort you. If the police want to watch you closely, and can’t get a warrant for it–or would rather not ask any court for a warrant, because their case is too flimsy–how hard would it be for them to ask nicely for some store’s “facial recognition” watch list data? (I may not be using the right techno-terms here, but you know what I mean.) But at least if they arrest you, you’ll have a chance to defend yourself in court. If 500 stores ban you because a robot told ’em you’re a crook, you have no defense.

The freedom-eaters are hungry.

3 comments on “You Won’t Smile if You’re On This Candid Camera

  1. This makes me think what happens to me when I sign in at the school’s computer when I substitute teach. A box comes up that says “error – see school secretary.” Why does this happen to me? Because there is a man named David L Ingram in the system that is a convicted sex-offender. What gets me is the pervert lives in Michigan, not Arkansas.

    1. Oh, forsooth! We may never achieve true Artificial Intelligence, but we’ve got Artificial Stupidity down to a science.

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