(N.Morgan) In this realm of technology and technological advances, we may have left ourselves open to being spied upon by the most unlikely sources.
The latest recruit to be enlisted in the task of surveillance is in any department store or fashion outlet you may visit, mannequins.
The $245 billion dollar luxury goods industry currently avails itself of five companies in Europe and the U.S. that use the EyeSee polystyrene frame mannequins, whose eyes are equipped with police grade face-recognition cameras.
Italian mannequin maker Almax SpA supplies these bionic oddities, offering companies the holy grail of retail: “personalizing” their sales offerings.
A recent article by Jake Anderson of Anti-Media gives a list of the 8 things you’d never guess were spying on you:
State of Liberty
There’s certainly a bit of irony in the government using a larger than life symbol of liberty and democracy for arguably unconstitutional domestic surveillance practices.
Incredibly, Lady Liberty, the monolithic structure that greets our poor, tired, huddled masses, is part of Big Brother’s surveillance enterprise. Actually, it has been since 2002, when early face-recognition software was installed.
Since then, the technology has evolved and so has the amount of money infused into the surveillance industry. In 2012, contractor Total Recall Corp. outfitted our fair lady with FaceVACS-VideoScan software, which tracks millions of New Yorkers’ faces in real-time, pinpointing race, gender, ethnicity, age, and even “client behavior.”
Now this one caught me off guard, who knew?
In Tulsa, a vending machine robbery was solved after the criminals’ faces were captured on a camera situated inside.
The cameras are owned and installed by the vending machine companies themselves.
The purpose – besides law enforcement – is unknown but is likely related to target market research.
Everybody knows that Kinect, the motion sensing console featured in millions of family living rooms, has a camera.
Of course it does, that’s how it senses your movements, but what if you found out that not only is Kinect recording and storing your activity, it may also be recording and storing the conversations you have while you’re playing — and even while it’s turned off?
Microsoft officially denies that Kinect records conversations, but then in the same sentence they brag about the device’s ability to read your heartbeat and recognize individual voices!
The company Immersive Labs has created software for digital billboards that allows them to watch your face and then tailor a specific ad based on your facial features.
Jell-O, Adidas and Kraft
Jell-O, Adidas and Kraft all use facial recognition software in supermarkets to help them craft more effective TV commercials.
The most disturbing part of this is the cameras are actually linked up to Facebook as well, so the company could hypothetically couple their video surveillance with social media profiles for an even juicier data grab.
The Big Bang Theory
As of April 2013, Verizon had applied to patent a new cable box that uses infrared cameras and microphones to track the activities of viewers during blocks of The Big Bang Theory.
The City of Seattle
A new apparatus that is capable of hi-tech surveillance (and more) will be installed at many of the major intersections in downtown Seattle.
So what, all cities have surveillance, right?
The rumors swirling around surveillance technology is that there is a new technology being used here that involves triangulating our cell phones, so that we essentially become rogue devices.