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Google Displays Privacy Your Rights Online

Google Glass Will Identify People By Clothing 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the nudity-is-anonymity dept.
recoiledsnake writes "This article notes, 'A new technology built into Google Glass, dug up by New Scientist, takes Google Glass from interesting to down right creepy. Google Glass can now pick a person out of crowd based on their fashion style. The system, InSight, developed in partnership with Google, will take a nice little moment to assess the clothing in frame, and then point out exactly where your friends are in busy settings like a bar, concert, or sporting event. It could probably point you out in a protest, or shopping mall too.' We previously discussed the disorienting effects on the wearer of the device."
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Google Glass Will Identify People By Clothing

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  • by invid (163714) on Friday March 08, 2013 @05:45PM (#43120887) Homepage
    Lets face it, very soon everyone is going to know where everyone else is all the time. Unless you wear some sort of Scanner Darkly blur suit.
    • At least Google will. I wonder how long until they gain the ability to determine how close your friends are to you, and who's offended by what. Then: automated blackmail. "User invid, it looks like you haven't cleared friend google to remove 15 future credits from your account this month, would you like your browser history from the date of July 10th, 2017 forwarded to your mother?"

      • Re:Goodbye Anonymity (Score:4, Interesting)

        by F9rDT3ZE (2860845) on Friday March 08, 2013 @06:43PM (#43121577)
        i hear from acquaintances who work in Google that the algorithms they run on emails do something much like this. among other things, they know when you are thinking of taking another job almost before you do. word is, among the things you must not say on the phone inside the pure-freedom, do-no-evil world of Google, is "let's take this offline" or anything else indicating you don't want to talk about something on the phone, since that's an instant tip that you want to say something unsurveilled. coming soon to our entire society!
        • by TheLink (130905)

          I've been wondering if Google has a Financial arm/division that makes a lot of money from this sort of thing.

          Being able to figure what a lot of investors/speculators are going to buy/sell can make you a lot of money.

        • by SnowZero (92219)

          I work at Google, and have no idea where you came up with your claims.

          i hear from acquaintances who work in Google that the algorithms they run on emails do something much like this. among other things, they know when you are thinking of taking another job almost before you do.

          While I cannot disprove that HR is running sentiment analysis, we have company-wide surveys every year that they could use, biannual reviews by co-workers, and quarterly short reviews from managers. All of those probably have much higher signal/noise ratio than rummaging through peoples' email. Also, they type of people who can do that kind of NLP are probably better off working on NLP-related areas that help the company such as Android

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      So we'll not only have to undergo Alpha Legion cosmetic surgery, but also all dress the same?

    • As long as people are either metallers or candy ravers.

      I have a doubt or two about the efficacy of this technology.

    • by Jamu (852752) on Friday March 08, 2013 @06:31PM (#43121449)
      It's not going to work on me. I don't have any fashion style.
      • It's not going to work on me. I don't have any fashion style.

        It may not work for your friend hoping to recognize you in the crowd but it still works for google and their delivery of targeted ads to you. Unless you are wearing homespun somebody is selling what you are wearing, fashionable of not.

    • by detritus. (46421)

      And I can't hit a guy with glasses when he continues to stare at me. We're screwed.

      • And I can't hit a guy with glasses when he continues to stare at me. We're screwed.

        Just don't hit him in the face. Kneecapping works wonders.

    • Re:Goodbye Anonymity (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SpectreBlofeld (886224) on Friday March 08, 2013 @10:36PM (#43123371)

      I have a feeling these things are going to be relying heavily on Google's cloud storage services. I also have a feeling that black market short-range pocket-sized mobile phone frequency jammers are going to become a hot commodity. :)

  • by alen (225700) on Friday March 08, 2013 @05:45PM (#43120891)

    first foursquare told me where all my friends are
    now google tells me who my friends are and i don't have to look at their face

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday March 08, 2013 @05:45PM (#43120895) Journal

    If it can't detect facecrime, I'm just not interested.

  • by alen (225700) on Friday March 08, 2013 @05:46PM (#43120909)

    i don't have to look at their faces when i see them

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 08, 2013 @05:54PM (#43121021)

    This is a great read: http://creativegood.com/blog/the-google-glass-feature-no-one-is-talking-about/ [creativegood.com]

    From the article:

    The Google Glass feature that (almost) no one is talking about is the experience – not of the user, but of everyone other than the user. A tweet by David Yee introduces it well:

    There is a kid wearing Google Glasses at this restaurant which, until just now, used to be my favorite spot.

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      I'm thinking about getting one myself. But wearing it continuously?

      Taking out your smartphone in a restaurant while you are in company is bad style. Taking out your smartphone while in restaurant to photograph your food is bad style.
      Walking around with those glasses is akin to a tourist walking around with their Canon fuck-off photobrick dangling from their neck. Annoying but non-threatening.

      We already have a functioning etiquette for stuff like this. Let's just stick to it.

      That could be one of the f
  • So then the moment you DON'T want it to pick you out, you just change clothes. Why yes, that IS my protest suit, thank you very much.
  • by John Hasler (414242) on Friday March 08, 2013 @05:54PM (#43121025) Homepage

    ...when the malware hits these things.

  • I thought that the proportion between eyes and all that type of stuff was more pretty accurate. Also faces don't tend to change in a short period of time. Note that I'm not against two or more different methods being used to identify someone.

  • by Fencepost (107992) on Friday March 08, 2013 @05:59PM (#43121099) Journal
    I've seen a bit of mention of this, but not much.

    Anyone remember a furor not too long ago about assorted "creepershot" forums on Reddit? Google Glass will make creepershots trivial - at least now it's (generally) obvious if you're following people around photographing them.
  • So do they think that real life is like cartoons, where people usually wear the same outfit every day?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Forget about identifying Ferengi women, they're not allowed to wear clothing.
  • by esten (1024885) on Friday March 08, 2013 @06:07PM (#43121191)

    Do not track option for clothing. Coming soon

  • Useful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Raven (30575) on Friday March 08, 2013 @06:15PM (#43121289) Homepage

    This is very useful to me; I often have trouble picking my wife out of a crowd. Mom, who has prosopagnosia (unable to identify faces) will also appreciate it. This kind of task, supplementing human failings, is exactly what we need. Many people don't need it; I'm sure most people will be as good or better than Glass at seeing friends in a crowd. But for those of us who are not? Useful!

    I don't need a calculator to figure out which package of rice is the best-per-pound at the supermarket (when it is not labeled clearly), while my wife does. Should I say calculators are useless or stupid, just because I don't need them for that use case?

    • I love the glases too! The algorithm actually works by digitally stripping a person's clothing, and then rapidly making them wear a whole bunch of alternatives, until there's a match with a previous photo. (BTW, if during this process you move your eye in the sequence up,up,down,down,left,right,left,right, you get to watch the whole process happening in debug mode). I've picked your wife out from the crowd several times now, the system works flawlessly!
    • by Mathness (145187)

      Should I say calculators are useless or stupid, just because I don't need them for that use case?

      Your comparison of the calculator and the Google gadget is flawed, as one is made for a specific purpose (calculator) and the other have additional benefits (which I hope work out for those in needed of them). It would be more prudent to compare the calculators additional purposes. For instance the calculator can be used as a dildo, but like the Google gadget, doing so in public will make you look like a freak.

      The problem is not the gadget in itself, but the way it works and who controls the data, and how i

    • This is very useful to me too. Now I can finally find out where Waldo was hiding all this time...

  • by tilante (2547392) on Friday March 08, 2013 @06:15PM (#43121293)

    The article explains that the application works like this: you have to start off by IDing your friend to it. It then analyzes the clothing they're wearing and their dimensions. When you want to look for them, it scans for a match, and picks out the person (or what could potentially be the person) for you.

    The article goes on to mention a couple of reasons that they chose to do it this way: one is to protect privacy! By not using facial recognition, they make sure that the app can't easily be pre-loaded with a database of people and look for them all the time. For another, humans are already good at facial recognition. If you can see your friend's face, there's a good chance that you'll recognize them. This, however, helps when you're scanning the crowd and their back might be to you.

    Honestly, it sounds like a good idea to me. Sure, it's going to have problems if you're surrounded by identically-dressed people, but you're not left any worse off by that than you were without it. Since it uses their bodily dimensions as well, it may still be of some use. And I know from times that I've been shopping with my wife and was looking for her that I, personally, have a horrible memory for what people are wearing. If I see her face, sure, I'll recognize her - but I often find myself remembering not the outfit she was wearing today, but the one she was wearing yesterday, or the one she was wearing when I met her for lunch.....

    • re: you have to start off by IDing your friend to it.
      .
      Ha. I misread your "IDing" as "iDing" ( or more clearly: "I-D-ing" as "i-Ding" ) as if it were a new electronic interactive way to ping or ding somebody. That would really be a cool new thing to trademark and create: iDing which pings and dings someone in real life, and if they're physically close enough to you IRL then you can hear the little submarine "ping" come out of their cell phone! Quick, Robin, off to the App-Mobile (TM, moi) to write this
    • by detritus. (46421)

      The article explains that the application works like this: you have to start off by IDing your friend to it. It then analyzes the clothing they're wearing and their dimensions. When you want to look for them, it scans for a match, and picks out the person (or what could potentially be the person) for you.

      I'll need to see the source code to be sure, and this is only the first generation of these glasses.

    • by Pale Dot (2813911)

      Agreed. The problem is with the second link to the science-ficulation of an obvious Mac fanboy, not the most unbiased source. For the benefit of those with (chiefly mobile) browsers that hide links, here's the naked url of the blog post that puts a negative spin on the largely positive New Scientist article:

      http://www.macgasm.net/2013/03/08/creepier-the-minute-google-glass-will-identify-people-clothing-choices/

      This fashion ID technology sounds less creepy to me than the tracking already being done by the wi

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by nazsco (695026)

      Wrong.

      It works like this: Google makes you scan several of your friends in several outfits and tag them.

      Now Google has a database of, your friends and social circle; your friends faces; your friends cloth shopping habits for direct ad targeting

      And you have nothing because this feature will probably only work 5% of the time

      • by SnowZero (92219)

        Wrong.

        It works like this: Google makes you scan several of your friends in several outfits and tag them.

        Now Google has a database of, your friends and social circle; your friends faces; your friends cloth shopping habits for direct ad targeting

        The original sources in the TFA don't agree with you:

        This fingerprint is constructed by a smartphone app which snaps a series of photos of the user as they read web pages, emails or tweets. It then creates a file – called a spatiogram – that captures the spatial distribution of colours, textures and patterns (vertical or horizontal stripes, say) of the clothes they are wearing. This combination of colour, texture and pattern analysis makes someone easier to identify at odd viewing angles or over

  • by Dotnaught (223657) on Friday March 08, 2013 @06:24PM (#43121381) Homepage

    ...It's technology that Google has had a hand in funding. The Project Glass connection is because the researchers used Project Glass as an example in their paper. Google may be able to use the technology, but it has not been included in the Glass software.

    Google Funds Fashion Recognition Research
    http://www.informationweek.com/security/privacy/google-funds-fashion-recognition-researc/240150399 [informationweek.com]

  • an excuse to dust off that tank top made solely out of malicious QR codes and porn links.

  • We're just getting more reliant and stupider.
  • by jythie (914043) on Friday March 08, 2013 @06:55PM (#43121711)
    Actually, this is not quite as far fetched as it sounds.

    I have partial facial blindness, and over the years I have gotten better at identifying people based off their cloths and hair style. Even when people do not intend it, many people stick to certain colour types and cuts, and it is not unusual to pick people out based off those patterns, or be really confused when they do something out of character. I have never really been sure _what_ the patterns are, but something in the back of my brain has built up some rules that work better then pure chance.
  • "You wouldn't punch a guy with glasses on would you?"

  • Bounty Hunting App (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ZombieBraintrust (1685608) on Friday March 08, 2013 @07:04PM (#43121805)
    I can't wait to earn free money by wearing by my Google Glass. Collect bounties just by having them turned on. If someone with a warrent is spotted the app will send your location and a photo to the goverment. The app splits the reward with you 50/50. I am sure there will also be an auto census application that gives you money. Turn it on and the application counts the number of people in your location, includes stats on gender and wealth. Free money.
  • Declare entire America a nudist colony ;-)
    • by bfandreas (603438)
      Oh for the love of god don't!
      No kit could survive the sheer onslaught, nay, stampede of ...
      Or at least put filters on YouTube!

      I will have to pour bleach on my eyes to get rid of that particular mental image.
  • The creepy part of p
  • For people with Prosopagnosia [wikipedia.org] (the inability to identify faces) this bit of technology will be a boon.
  • I've been wearing the same 9 shirts for 2 years at my work and a recent survey has revealed only the women noticed :P
    • by bfandreas (603438)
      I always do my shopping in bulk.
      Yes, ma'am. I like the fit and the pattern. I'll take 20. And about those pants: do you deliver? I'm not sure I can fit them into my car.

      I once was taken shopping during lunch break by one of my female coworkers. For my sins, I reckon. She won't do THAT to me any time soon. I bought 3 shirts, 2 pairs of trousers, new shoes and lotsa socks within 30 minutes. She was struggeling with the decision between two sweaters.

      None of my girlfriends went shopping for clothes with me
  • and white sneakers?
    But on a serious note, I'm really curious about the output for people with similar clothes. Specially if you work in Japan, with all these salaryman in black suits or in any hospital with all doctors and nurses using nearly the same outfit(or any workplace that requires an uniform). Artists and celebrities may do their best to use different outfits in front of the cameras, but in the real world there is quite a significant overlap of clothing even between different people.
    • by bfandreas (603438)
      We need this to tell those 'celebs' apart. After a couple of years they have the same face. Starting with the nose.
  • What exactly isn't downright creepy in those Google Glasses?

    • by bfandreas (603438)

      What exactly isn't downright creepy in those Google Glasses?

      A cute bunny wearing Google Glasses?

  • This is the real reason for those jumpsuits common in depictions of the future.
    If everyone looks the same they won't be as easily tracked.

  • So will it still identify that person if they wore a bandana all the time, but wore nothing but that bandana in the privacy of a home? Hmm., it's experiment time!!

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