Everyday biometrics

November 16, 2007 at 10:52 pm 1 comment

Now here’s an idea from Japan that can have all sorts of interesting applications.

Fujitaka Co. has introduced a cigarette vending machine that uses facial recognition to determine if the person is older than 20 years, the legal age to buy cigarettes. It is based on evaluating the person’s bone structure, wrinkles, and the way skin sags.

Just think of the potential. Hamburger? Sorry, you’re overweight. Afternoon at the beach? Sorry, skin type prone to burning. Coffee? Sorry, you look like a tea person.

But, before you go rushing to snap up the world rights, consider this comment by CB-in-Tokyo:

“Well here is the Honne and the Tatemae (the real thing and the appearance or facade) of Japanese culture at work.”

“It is not about actually preventing minors from purchasing cigarettes, it is about making the appearance of doing so. By making the appearance of doing so, these vending machines will continue to be allowed, and it may even stop them from being “turned off” at 11:00 PM as they are now.”

In other words, pure security theatre.

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Entry filed under: biometrics, identity, personal_info, privacy, security.

Hand over your keys Everyday biometrics 2

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