Culture March 14, 2017
A new facial recognition app called Facezam can identify people just by matching a photo of them to their Facebook profile.
Users looking to say, identify that cute waiter at the Cheesecake Factory – and see if he’s single – would only have to snap a photo of him and run it through the app. Then, within 10 seconds, his Facebook profile would pop up.
“Users will be able to identify anyone within a matter of seconds, which means privacy will no longer exist in public society,” Jack Kenyon, the founder of the app, told The Telegraph.
Facezam boasts a 70 percent accuracy rate in finding matches, after tests done on more than 10,000 images. It can scan billions of Facebook profile images per second.
The app was set to launch on March 21, but may be delayed by Facebook itself, as the company believes it violates their terms. But Kenyon insists that is just not the case, and even thinks it could be a great tool, for example, in reducing crime. He believes it will fall since the app will make everyone easily identifiable.
If it does get to launch, the app will use its software to pull images of anyone with a Facebook profile, so the Ron Swanson’s of the world will likely not be fans. See, there isn’t really a way to opt out of the seemingly invasive technology.
That being said, the app is, of course, not infallible, and Kenyon admits that its accuracy drops to 55 percent if the photo (either submitted to the app or on Facebook) features hair, sunglasses, a large hat or anything else obscuring the face.
If you’re thinking, wow – this kind of sounds like music identifying app Shazam, but for faces… Well, that’s exactly what it is. Kenyon found inspiration for the technology of Facezam – and the name itself – from Shazam.
Of course, the tech featured in Facezam has already been used by Facebook to group together photos and suggest tags – you know, that creepy thing where it somehow knows the woman behind you in that one photo from Christmas is your mom.
Law enforcement and businesses also use such tech for databases as well as mapping customer demographics. But Facezam will be a game changer since this is the first time it will put such a tool in the hand of the customer.
And while it may sound cool to be able to Facezam that cute guy or girl from your local bar that you’ve been too shy to approach… remember that it also means that creepy guy from Starbucks who looks at you for just a little too long will be able to use it, too.
So uh, come March 21 if you don’t want to suddenly be available to strangers at the push of a button… maybe pull out those floppy hats and big sunglasses.
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