We’ve been reading a lot of articles about Scenetap, Facebook, Cole Harper, Dystopian realities of modern life and the difference between facial recognition vs facial detection.

The lines are both blurry and frightening.

Facial recognition is a biometric form of identification wherein a face is scanned and compared to a database to determine who belongs to the image that is captured. Think Facebook and the new technology they’re currently trumpeting.

Facial detection is a little bit looser. Let’s quote Scenetap’s website: “Facial detection technology uses algorithms and anonymous database features to indicate the probable gender and approximate age of a venue customer. Facial detection itself may be difficult in certain environments, for the same reasons as listed above, and may be detected at up to a 95% accuracy rate. From there, gender identification is approximately 85% accurate, while approximate age is 90% accurate within a range of 6 years and 80% accurate within a range of 3 years. SceneTap intends the data it provides as a form of entertainment and does not warrant that the data will be flawless or consistently reliable.”

Why is this so bone chilling?

A commenter on our previous Scenetap article who signed themselves “Scenetap” had this to say “We appreciate your enthusiasm, but we don’t use facial recognition technology. We use facial detection tech, and in fact, no personal information is shared at all. Loving the imagination, though 🙂 ”

That’s good information and we appreciate the comment. It set us to thinking about the differences between facial recognition and facial detection.

Big difference.

But, once Scenetap’s cameras are in place and are silently recording thousands of people as they enter and exit clubs we reckon the hackers will also be getting busy.

We called up our friends at hacker space and told them about the Scenetap project and asked about potential for abuse via hacking.

One guru who’s currently working on a pretty cool project where you can take a smartphone and point it toward your driveway and project a hologram of a Maserati or a Tomahawk motorbike, basically started rubbing his hands together with glee.

“Sounds like a good challenge”.

Austin is a hotbed of computer folks who love nothing more than a task like this.

Once all these data enter the nether all bets are off. Who’s to say who’s going to be harvesting this information? We’re certain that Scenetap has all sorts of protective devices in place to prevent this sort of thing.

Just like people who put locks on bicycles and encrypt passwords on their computers. Infallible right?

A commenter named “Larry Israel” got really heated up over our prior article. He had this to say

“How does the scrumptious chef ever write an OBJECTIVE review for it”s followers.They walk in ANONYMOUSLY,most certainly not bothering to talk to the chef.The reason to talk to the chef would be to glean information on his specialties,style etc.

Scenetap has no interest in R.L.Reeves Jr.

They strive to provide REAL-TIME,accurate demographic info,for free,to individuals who can use this to exercise their right of choice.

Your terroristic example,and paranoid delusions don’t agree with the principals of freedom and techno-advancement.If someone wanted to harm the author of this article,Facebook,Google,foursquare and other more PUBLIC resources would surely be more accurate,although not in real-time.

Any street corner in a major U.S. city has better surveillance capability than Scenetap.

Scenetap has just been through an EXTENSIVE vetting process by the government and passed with flying colors.You don’t HAVE to publish a list of the Scenetap bars.Download the FREE app and look for yourself.Don’t bother to look at the dining specials at all the participating restaurants,as that would only save you money and time”

Kind of hard to understand but we appreciate the passion Larry.

Poster Alan Sudo put up a list of the bars and nightclubs that have signed on to this potential fiasco. It’s in comments here http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/12/13/Orwellian-Cameras-Linked-To-Facial-Recognition-Software-At-Austin–Bar-Entries-Via-Scene-Tap

At the end of the day it matters little to us. We doubt that Ginny’s, La La’s, Frontier Bar or Buddy’s Place are going to be installing any of these devices any time soon.

Folks will vote with their wallets and if these cameras magnetize people who are into that sort of thing then the bars who feel like this is a good revenue enhancer will be rewarded by big crowds.

We just won’t be in those crowds.

And we have a feeling there are plenty other people who’ll opt out of being part of it as well.

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