As processing power becomes cheaper and smarter software is produced, it seems inevitable that more and more people and organizations will begin to identify people automatically by recognizing their faces with surveillance cameras.
London’s Heathrow airport is planning to install such a system, and Facebook may be the ultimate database to let freelancers do it themselves.
To me, it is all rather worrisome. At a basic level, life becomes more paranoid and less creative and interesting when you are being watched at all times and all of your actions are being archived forever. It’s only a matter of time before photos from every fun party ever are being combed through by investigative journalists hoping to catch someone who has become famous in an embarrassing-looking situation. Facial recognition allows for the creation of databases that can be used for truly evil purposes, from suppression of political dissent to stalking and blackmail.
Like nerve gas, facial recognition technology is probably one of those things that it would be better if we could un-invent.