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Re: Spooking of neural nets and image recognition...

>On Thu, 12 Aug 93 18:02:06 PDT, [email protected] (Nick Szabo) said:
>>Are the pictures taken by ATMs good enough for automated
>>Nick Szabo                             [email protected]
>Do atm's usually have real cameras?  I always figured most of them
>were fakes.

I'll comment on both questions.

First, Nick's question. Yes, the resolution is sufficient, especially since
the faces are right in front of the camera. They're black-and-white (so
far, but this will change, and the costs of small surveillance cameras will
drop further), and of limited res (probably not full NTSC). But adequate
for image recognition (though I've not heard of this being done, just
archiving of videotapes for some time period....see the movie "Rising Sun"
for some insights). 

Second, Mike's question. I have no idea what fraction are real cameras, but
I suspect many if not most are real. Robberies and killings near ATMs are
often accompanied with video footage from the ATMs, shown on television.
Some of the cameras may now be dummies, but this will likely change as the
costs drop further and as local communities push for more surveillance.
(Speculatively, I would not be very surprised to see private
companies--banks, convenience stores, daycare centers--forced to install
surveillance cameras. Big Brother arrives throught the corporate liability
laws? Orwell missed this one, though he got so much of it right.)

Comment: The case of banks having cameras doesn't bother me much at all, as
the bank already knows exactly who its customers are. That is, the
surveillance is not used to gather any information the bank does not
already have immediate and complete access to.

A much more serious situation will arise when convenience stores, gas
stations, and the like adopt the same camera systems--maybe they already
are--and begin to compile customer dossiers, purchasing preferences, etc.
(Credit card and check purchases are already being used, according to a CNN
report I recently saw, to compile such dossiers, so that customers can be
sent "customized" advertisements reminding them or making special offers.
Cypherpunks can avoid using checks and credit cards, for the time being.)

Understand that I don't support bans on such surveillance cameras--it is
always my choice to patronize a store--but I do object to situations where
the State mandates that stores have cameras or outlaws masks and other
efforts to hide one's features.


Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
[email protected]       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
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Higher Power: 2^756839 | Public Key: by arrangement
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