The Need for Speed

Note: this is the text from a Linkedin post I wrote, in response to a post by Cathy Hackl, She visited a concept store that features Alipay’s “smile to pay” facial recognition payment technology. Here’s her video: 

As I’ve written about before, I have some very serious reservations about facial recognition technology and how it will completely remove any semblance of privacy or anonymity.

Putting that aside, this has a high “neat” factor. Not sure that I need my hamburger that *split second* faster, and I’d like to know more about how security around it works – but in essence it’s little different than using your phone to pay.

And unfortunately, it’s inevitable. What I am worried about is having our biometric data stored in so many databases, where we have no knowledge or control over how the data is stored and used. Yes the credit card company already know things about us, and can track us through transactions and location. But those things are still things that can be stopped; change accounts, banks, and your data is not permanent and persistent. Your face is yours, forever.

Amara’s law states that, “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” It certainly seems to apply.

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