If you’ve posted any photos recently on Facebook, then you’ve seen how quickly it’s ready to tag you and your friends, no help necessary. Facebook’s facial recognition software, DeepFace, is doing an increasingly better job at recognizing people.

While facial recognition technology is currently being used to tag friends on social media, and to unlock your smartphones, soon it could be used by your vehicle, a governmental agency, a digital billboard, or even the self-checkout at the grocery store.


The positives include better security for you and society at large whether your face is used as a key for a lock or combating ID theft through cross-checking your face in government databases. You can also expect better personalization from smart machines in your home and retail environments.

Imagine walking into your home and automatically having the lighting adjusted to your preference, or getting into the driver’s seat of the family car and having your seat automatically readjusted and your favorite radio station queued up. At the grocery store you may soon be able to simply walk out of the store while cameras scan you and your items then charge the credit card associated with your face.


The negative applications seem far more obvious, with concerns over decreased privacy and government overreach.

One example is that It’s possible that police are allowed to use your face to unlock your device.

“The Fifth Amendment protects people from having to give up information that could incriminate them, like a password or PIN code. But a thumbprint isn’t something you know, which would be protected by the Constitution; it’s something you are.” – The Atlantic, Can Cops Force You to Unlock Your Phone With Your Face?

The Role of Fashion

Fashion is always at the cutting edge of society and it’s no surprise that different artists and designers have taken on this new technology concern and come up with hairstyles and makeup applications that aim to mask your identity. Clothing designers have also developed fabrics that blow out the photo with a bright white light when a camera flash goes off.

For More: Gizmodo, Fashion that will hide you from face-recognition technology

While it’s interesting to think about potential advantages that come with facial recognition technology, some of the applications seem a little troubling, even down-right scary. What degree of anonymity do you deserve when out in public? This conversation is certainly in the early stages, but the technology is already here.

For More: USA Today, Facial recognition: iPhone today, tomorrow the airport?

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