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New Identity App is Frightening

taking photo with smartphone
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

There are literally thousands of apps for your phone, but one of the newest is also one of the most frightening: an app that would allow you (or the scarier thought, others) to take a photo of someone and use it to identify the stranger!

CNet reports that the ability is coming soon through an upcoming app called ‘NameTag‘ for Android, iOS and Google Glass.

After the photo is taken, the app sends it to NameTag’s server, which compares it to millions of online records to come up with a name, photos and social media profiles!

App creator FacialNetworking is working on technology that will enhance NameTag by also scanning profile photos on online dating sites, as well the National Sex Offender Registry and other criminal databases.

CNet cited FacialNetwork’s Kevin Alan Tussy as saying, “I believe that this will make online dating and offline social interactions much safer and give us a far better understanding of the people around us.”

To address privacy concerns, Tussy said people will be able to login to NameTag’s website and choose whether or not they want their name and information displayed to others, a situation that CNet describes as opt-out instead of opt-in, meaning you have to take action to ensure you can’t be searched for, instead of having to indicate you want to be able to be identified via the app.

While I can appreciate the company’s stance that it would help identify people through the Sex Offender Registry (which by the way already has a website, but not an app) or criminal databases (again, website, but no app) it’s incredibly invasive to think anyone would be able to access you and your digital footprint simply by taking your picture.

What do you think of this potential new technology?

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