Monday, April 18, 2016

A Curious Pair of Trendlets

I see two threads of discussion appearing now and then, which never seem to find one another.

The first one is "Man, people sure are becoming bitches about taking a few pictures" which, to be honest, has always been with us. Some people simply find the process uncomfortable for one or more of several reasons, and some people always have. Anyways, the self-styled "street" photographers always seem to have a whole bizarro philosophy that boils down to "be sneaky, but not in a sneaky way."

The second one is "OMG, digital technology makes privacy go away!" which is genuinely a new and increasing problem.

Let's smash these two things together and see what happens.

Maybe people are increasingly becoming bitches about being photographed, because they know on some level that with a photo you can (or soon will be able to) find their name, home address, and for a modest albeit illegally rendered fee, god damn near anything else you want to know about them. It does rock one back a little bit, eh?

While you may not be stealing my soul with your magic picture box, it certainly could be step one of stealing all of my stuff.

Now, in reality, does it matter? Probably not. Your picture can be taken without your consent or knowledge. It is taken constantly. Simply denying some clumsy dork with a big black camera isn't an act with any real substance. Still, simply because the gates have crumbled under the mass of barbarians, one still feels something a little off about opening the side door to let a couple more in.

11 comments:

  1. How is my identity under threat from someone taking my photograph?
    I'm curious, because I haven't yet made the connection.
    Is it to do with any records kept by the city/province/federal government?
    I can see that my address could be compromised because my driving licence has my photograph on it, but that's all.
    My Social Security card doesn't have a photo, neither does my medical insurance card, nor my bank cards.
    In a similar way, I can pay a fee and look at names on the local Electoral Roll and send people fake demands, from, e.g.,a debt collecting agency (I have actually experienced this).
    If you have ever visited the UK, you will have been photographed many times, because the UK has close to 5 million cameras for 68 million people on the island.
    However, the national and regional police forces have not yet established a corrrelation between camera and burglary, at least, not to my knowledge.
    Tell me what I'm missing!
    Regards,
    David

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  2. Facial recognition software is decades away. Seriously.

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    1. Is it perfect? No. But it works decently well. If you have doubts check out how well an under powered camera processor does.

      http://petapixel.com/2016/04/16/sonys-a6300-can-register-face-zero-later-even-crowd/

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  3. I do have something to say here, I think, I'm just slammed at home for a couple days.

    Damn you all for making me actually think!

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  4. Wow!
    I had no idea things were so far advanced.
    I had resisted having any social media accounts, but in coming to Canada, I was persuaded by a colleague to register with Linked In.
    There is no photograph on my account and I won't add one, as I'm not disposed to share my complete profile with strangers, but having read the above, maybe I will drop out of Linked In as well.
    Thanks for taking the time and trouble to explain the situation; didn't realize how far out of touch I am.
    Regards,
    David

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  5. A Foolish Man:

    I'm curious, not to say dubious, about this bit: "I was then able to search that image which lead me to a bunch of wedding photo's another person had posted from their cell." This was clearly not done using Google Image search -- care to say how you did do that? Thanks.

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    1. Hi Mike,

      I wanted to clarify why I removed my previous comment after you referenced it. The amount of hedging and "this is not a stalking 101 guide" phrases I used made me realize I had broached a topic I'm not comfortable having attached to my name by people preforming simple internet searches.

      I don't think anything in my original post was inappropriate and certainly wasn't intended to be, but I believe it could be misconstrued and/or taken out of context at a future date.

      I believe the points raised in my original post were relevant and contributed to the discussion. As such, my previous post will likely return in a newly edited form tomorrow. Unfortunately the most edited portion will be regarding my recent endeavours in tracking down an online commenter, so I suspect you will be left justifiably unsatisfied.

      I felt I owed you an explanation as to why the original post was removed after you directly questioned the contents. Sorry for the disappearing Houdini act. This is the first time I remember deleting a comment like this.

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    2. No problem, Foolish Man! It's just that, in my (limited) experience, the results of image searching are generally risible, thankfully, and nothing like the joined-up imaginings of, say, the TV series Person of Interest ("You are being watched...").

      Mike

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  6. I live in Europe, where the law protects the right to control one's image considerably. I have had requests to remove images from Facebook several times and if I am not quick enough, I get a reminder from their lawyer.

    Also: more and more people control the image they present on Facebook. They will only accept pictures of them presenting them in favourable light and posted by the right person. I have had to sign for paid models that I will not publish pictures on my Facebook, because their career demands that they are associated with pro photographers only. And from a different line of work, I know that my employer pushed some colleagues to resign, because of their Facebook. Not that they were drunk or had scandalous pictures, but because they were associated with people or causes that the employer did not like (free software, for example).

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  7. I suspect people aren't reading this post anymore but here is a story regarding men using facial recognition tech to track down and harass women who have appeared in porn.
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/04/facial-recognition-service-becomes-a-weapon-against-russian-porn-actresses/

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