Another Reason Not to Smile at the DMV

Attention, there is another reason not to be happy about a visit to your local department of motor vehicles:

The next time you step in front of the camera for your driver's license photo, you might want to skip the forced smile. Four states have urged drivers to stop grinning because it interferes with anti-fraud protections on driver's license pictures, USA Today reported.

Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada and Virginia tell drivers to keep neutral expressions when they get their license photos taken. The states are using software that compares new license photos with hold ones. Grinning can mess up the facial recognition technology.

A Virginia official told the newspaper that the state prefers dull expressions because they help the software work more accurately. The other three states allow small smiles…
I was trying to decide how the DMV defines a “small smile.” Does that involve a ruler and an official determination by a smile inspector?

In continuing to discuss the use of facial recognition software (as I did in yesterday’s missing person post), drivers license photos are another example of innovative technology being used by government authorities (like it or not).

I do want to thank blogger Jennifer over at Kerberism for including this phony driver’s license in her post:

I don’t think I have ever seen someone try to pass off a fake ID featuring a “couple’s photo.”


Erin said...

Or perhaps people are so sour anyway, they're pretending that this "face recognition" stuff is the reason for all the blase expressions.

mappchik said...

Too funny! If he had used a photo from a night out with the guys, could the presence of another person have been argued as his conjoined twin?

Facial recognition is one of those nervous gray areas for me. I like the use of technology to speed up the job of finding and identifying a specific violent criminal is something I can support. It's keeping a database of every single driver's photo & facial map that makes me edgy.

Cindy Beck said...

Tried to post a comment and I think the stupid machine ate it.

Thanks for the tips on smiling/not smiling for the driver's license. Also, got a kick out of the fake ID. Somebody brilliant did that one! :)

(Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting, too! Glad you liked the book review ... most pre-teen/teenagers will love "Bone Warriors.")

thepeartreeblog said...

That's really funny. And by the time people have stopped smiling for these photos, technology will be so advanced that it will be possible for any machine to recognize any face, smiling or not.


Meadowlark said...

I'm with mapchick. In theory - good idea. In practical application as our government will use it - um, probably a slippery slope we will note like. :(

J. J. in Phila said...

I generally don't smile, because I like to scare people. :) Seriously.