You are at the bar and then your favorite song comes on but you don't remember the artist and song name. What do you do? You pull out your phone and open your Shazm app to grab the song information. Life couldn't be more satisfying right?
Lets say you are walking down the street one day and you spot someone you met from a long time ago. You don't remember their name or in some cases how you met them. What do you do? You stand from a distance and pull out your phone to take their picture and register it through Facezam. The app then pulls up their Facebook profile and that awkward moment is averted.
"Facezam could be the end of our anonymous societies," said Jack Kenyon, founder of Facezam. "Users will be able to identify anyone within a matter of seconds, which means privacy will no longer exist in public society."
Facezam scans through billions of Facebook profile images a second through a database for developers until a match is found. The company claims to be able to match a photo to a profile in a matter of 10 seconds. The app is expected to launch on iOS on March 21st and after scanning through 10,000 images, it has a 70% accuracy rate.
The technology could help reduce crime by making everyone identifiable, Kenyon said, adding that the public implications of the app couldn't be predicted. "There may be a mix of positives and negatives," he said.
ON THE FLIP SIDE...
Giant internet companies like Facebook and Google are criticizing Facezam and claims it violates their terms. Apps that collect user's data or use automated technology to scan Facebook are forbidden unless if permission is granted from the social network.
"This activity violates our terms and we’re reaching out to the developer to ensure they bring their app into compliance," said Facebook.
Facial recognition technology is already being utilized by Facebook and Google when the photos suggest who should be tagged in them. In some cases, it has been accessed in law enforcement databases and companies like Tesco have used it to map out it's customer demographics. Other companies like Find Face and Blippar have taken the market but are limited to a very small facial recognition database. The launch of Facezam will the first time that users will be able to access the same facial recognition technology that big companies do, all in the palm of their hand.
In the recent document leak of "Vault 7" released by WikiLeaks, citizens were brought to the attention to the arsenal of hacking tools that the CIA posses. This drew some concerns from individuals who were afraid of their privacy being violated. Similarly, Facezam posses a violation to the individual's right and privacy. This could lead to trouble later down the road if abused. So, should companies have the right to access facial recognition technology or should something be done to protect or privacy rights?
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