Color.com privacy concerns

For those who have not heard, color.com have released an app.  Let me tell you what it does.  It lets you take a picture at the same time others are taking a picture around you and joins them together.  Sorta.

Wait, is that it Nerdr?  well, not quite.  You see the reason its major news (other than their significant online marketing budget) is the $41 MILLION dollars (Yes, thats dollar dollars for you English and finance majors – but I bet you Art majors didn’t even bat an eyelid!)  they secured to fund  the whole thing from none other than seqoia capital investments.  Yes, thats the same Seqoia capital investments venture capital firm that bought in to Google before it was the “in thing”.  Back in the altavista days of search engines.

And now they’re in to Color.com.  What does that now mean?  With the significant market power this venture capital firm now has at its disposal, with some powerful friends in very high places, it is clear color.com will be a success.  The question now however is whats the points of Color.com?  (I do believe its a free app).

Let me tell you that too before you feel too sleepy…Imagine you’re looking for someone.  Whether thats for good or for more nefarious purposes is not the point here, although it is significantly important, just not here, because we have other matters to discuss.  Let’s just assume you need to find someone.  Now.  and they’re somewhere in the world.  Anywhere.

With color.com and using the latest image data processing algorithms one could easily build a artificial intelligence model to scan every single photo as it comes into the server for a particular facial feature set.  This is not difficult to program and could probably be done in a weekend.  This is current technology currently being used all around the world to keep dictators in power by removing dissidents before they have time to “stir the pot”.  Now imagine that power.  You can’t hide from cameras all around the world, forever.  One will find you eventually.  When it does, the image recognition algorithm will tag you and pass you on to the relevant authorities for “evaluation”.

Its  police state/1984 stuff for sure.  But wait…theres more…

Mix this with information profiles already gained through datamining methods on facebook and twitter for example, as well as other social networking based websites and you’re left with something very serious indeed.

Imagine this –

  • You are found to be anti-(insert something an authority does not like here).
  • Your data is mined, emails checked and you are tagged for analysis.
  • Analysis comes back that you are to be found and “removed from circulation”.
  • The world is quickly scanned with the press of a button to find your last known whereabouts from your facial image scan.
  • You get a knock and are casually removed.
  • Some slight cleanup work is required following, but nothing a few paper pushers can’t manage in an afternoon OVER TEA AND CRUMPETS.

Welcome to 1984.  2 sugars.

 


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