Online corporate snoopers may be getting smarter about you than you are about them. In 2010, a company called The Astonishing Tribe unveiled an app called Recognizr, which let you point an Android app at someone’s face and learn – as fast as your mobile carrier will let you – the online personas they’ve created through public Facebook updates, Twitter feeds, and so on.
More disturbingly, there are facial-recognition algorithms – developed under the adorably named yet still creepy (that is, bad creepy) PittPatt – which can scan a photo of you walking down the street and compare the pixels to a Facebook profile photo, and all the innocently adjacent data: birthday, birthplace, friends, family, political affiliation, etc. The things people take for granted are just the starting points of an investigation into the rest of their lives:
Friends forgive and forget, but corporate data mines never forget.
Creep for sheep, indeed.