No Smiling On Your Drivers License. It Makes Our Software Sad

from the the-computer-makes-me-frown dept

We've discussed in the past how absolutely useless most facial recognition systems are. Their error rates (both types of errors) are way too high to be even remotely useful. At best, they're potentially (though, not definitely) useful for advertising purposes, where a false read isn't that big of a deal. However, apparently some states are using facial recognition software to try to make sure the photo on the license matches with other photos of the individual -- but the software sucks so bad that it can't recognize faces when you smile. So, the states using the software, Arkansas, Indiana, Virginia, or Nevada are supposedly telling people they can no longer smile on their driver's license photos. Apparently finding software that actually works wasn't an option.

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  • icon
    qhartman (profile), 1 Jun 2009 @ 5:27pm

    Oregon Too

    I would suspect that Oregon is doing something similar. When I got my license renewed a couple months ago, the woman operating the camera hassled me when I smiled because (and I quote) "the biometric thingy won't like it.". As a result, I look like a surly serial killer in my driver's license photo. Delightful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      btr1701 (profile), 2 Jun 2009 @ 10:05am

      Re: Oregon Too

      > As a result, I look like a surly serial
      > killer in my driver's license photo.

      Well, take heart. If you'd smiled, you'd have just ended up looking like a serial killer who just made a fresh kill.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jim, 1 Jun 2009 @ 5:28pm

    True in Indiana

    No glasses, no hats in Indiana, either. Nothing that blocks your face or contorts its expression.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lucretious, 1 Jun 2009 @ 5:42pm

    so what happens if you grow a beard (or shave one off)?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CleverName, 1 Jun 2009 @ 5:45pm

    Just line inelementary school

    No talking, laughing, or chewing gum
    And stay in a single file line

    Papers please

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tgeigs (profile), 1 Jun 2009 @ 5:52pm

    Uh....

    "Arkansas, Indiana, Virginia, or Nevada are supposedly telling people they can no longer smile on their driver's license photos"

    In all honesty, have you been to any of those places? With the extremely unlikely but possible exception of Nevada, what the hell would any citizens of those states have to smile about anyway? I think it's actually a warning that anyone smiling is immediately considered suspicious...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DJ, 1 Jun 2009 @ 6:29pm

    Lowest bidder

    Ahh, the sub-par performance of the lowest bidder....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jun 2009 @ 6:43pm

    Happy Criminals

    Cool. All you have to do is smile when you're committing a crime and you're home free.

    Technology: making the world a happier place.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dallas Hinton, 1 Jun 2009 @ 7:43pm

    drivers' license

    Here in BC we've been forbidden to smile for a number years. The same is true of our passport photos, with the added wrinkle that we can't wear glasses either even though (in my wife's case) she's almost legally blind without them. Both of us have license restrictions requiring us to wear "corrective lenses when driving" but we can't have our picture taken with them on! sheesh!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Jun 2009 @ 9:14pm

      Re: drivers' license

      California now 'asks' you to not wear glasses while the picture is taken but they won't refuse to take the picture if you leave them on as far as I'm aware.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    NullOp, 1 Jun 2009 @ 8:13pm

    The Specs

    The specs didn't say it had to work. It just needed to be delivered by XYZ date.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jun 2009 @ 10:24pm

    A commonwealth is a state, a state is a commonwealth.

    What about the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico? Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico in Spanish.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2009 @ 4:07am

    Who the hell can muster a smile after standing in line forever at the DMV anyway? They're lucky nobody gives them the finger, let alone a smile.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    countd4 (profile), 2 Jun 2009 @ 4:59am

    Please do the research

    Well-researched news is better than fling-it-against-the-wall hyperbole. Administrators in Arkansas have been fighting the "no smiling" rumor since it surfaced a week ago. See the article here http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-05-25-licenses_N.htm. "You just can't grin really large," Arkansas driver services chief Tonie Shields says. Arkansas doesn't use facial recognition software. So that's not quite the same as "no smiling"...

    And I appreciate the slings and arrows for those who live here - but ignorance and prejudice knows no boundaries.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    kathal, 2 Jun 2009 @ 7:36am

    they've already disallowed smiling and general happiness on passports and driving licenses in ireland

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), 2 Jun 2009 @ 7:45am

    try to make sure the photo on the license matches with other photos of the individual

    I would go so far as to say most people smile in photos that are taken of them as long as they are aware of photographer. What troubles me is that they want you to look as though you are unaware of the surveillance Big Brother is/will be increasing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2009 @ 8:12am

    OK, now face it, how many times when someone asks you for your drivers license will you be smiling?

    Unless you are an old fart and get carded for booze, that will make you smile, other than that?

    Hmmm, lets see:

    State Trooper--No Smile
    Airport Security Line (for 54 mins.)--No Smile

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    W Klink (profile), 2 Jun 2009 @ 8:49am

    No smiling, but anything else goes

    Yes, Virginia, your photos are completely un-spoofable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AG, 2 Jun 2009 @ 2:48pm

    Uh nope

    Actually Arkansas doesn't give a shit what you do when you get your picture taken. You can't wear dark glasses or a hat that hides your eyes but I've had my glasses on for my pictures for the last 12 years or so and mine are trifocals with a heavy prescription.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2009 @ 1:57pm

    wow, i'm so scared, things are getting bad, and you can bet with the coming collapse of the dollar, "which is GOING to happen" you can bet they're gonna be screwing us in all types of new ways,

    seems like its about time to leave the country
    !m

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John, 1 Dec 2009 @ 11:21am

    take valid pssport photo

    You can create valid passport photos with http://idphoto4you.com website. It knows numerous standards and print sizes. It uses face detection for set position and size of head. It is very useful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chanel, 5 Jun 2013 @ 11:58pm

    I just got my license in the mail yesterday. I look 100% horrible. I'm from Virginia where now you can't crack a smile for your happy photo shoot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jill, 22 Nov 2013 @ 10:58am

      Re:

      I just got my license in the mail today and I look 100% horrible too (from having to smile without showing any teeth). What a stupid law.

      At least reading that other people are experiencing the same thing made me feel better.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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