It Is Now Illegal To Smile On Your NJ Driver License

The State of NJ has made it illegal to smile in you driver license photo because it interferes with the secret police’s facial recognition systems.

A few days ago a friend from high school told me he was listening to the radio and they were talking about smiling being banned on NJ driver’s license photos because it interfered with facial recognition technologies.

After researching it I found out it was true.

From NJ’s largest newspaper the Star-Ledger via the Associated Press:

N.J. bans big smiles from driver’s license photos

[…]

The state has banned motorists from making big smiles because such expressions don’t work with facial recognition software.

The policy has gone mostly unnoticed since taking effect in January.

But Velvet McNeill from Sicklerville is trying to bring it to light.

[…]

Source: NJ.com

More from the Philadelphia Daily News:

Why you can’t smile for your N.J. driver’s license

[…]

So, when the manager of the Motor Vehicle Commission office in Cherry Hill told her Tuesday that she wasn’t allowed to smile for her driver’s-license picture, she balked – and left, saying that the office’s staff couldn’t adequately explain the smile ban.

“Why should we all look like androids, looking mopey? I know there are some people who don’t have good driver’s licenses, but I actually keep all mine,” said McNeil, whose pleasantly smiling image adorns old licenses from the six states in which she’s lived, as well as her debit and credit cards.

Turns out, the state really does prefer that its six million drivers scowl rather than smile for the camera.

Cue the New Jersey jokes.

In January, New Jersey launched new face-recognition software that forbids license applicants from smiling widely or making other exaggerated facial expressions that might confuse the computer.

The goal is to catch fraudsters. If a new photo, for example, matches an old one that carries a different name, a red flag goes up, and investigators step in.

“That could be someone trying to steal someone else’s identity to get insurance benefits, or someone trying to get out of a DUI by getting a license under another name,” said Mike Horan, spokesman for the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. “This helps us weed out fraud.”

If facial expressions vary greatly in photos of the same person, the software could incorrectly signal a problem, Horan said.

Slight smiles are OK. “Hey-I-won-the-lottery-type smiles” are not, Horan said. “To get an accurate photo, you don’t want an excessively expressive face in the photo.”

[…]

Source: The Philadelphia Daily News

On Facebook, I told my friends another aspect of this is perception management.

If the government accuses you of something they want to show the most unflattering image of you they can.

We see it repeatedly, if you don’t look like a creep in your mugshot or your driver’s licenses photo then the press will hunt down photos of you until one that is unflattering enough that those who see it will automatically think you are a criminal.

I also pointed out that smiling isn’t the only way to beat facial recognition software.

I pointed to public service announcement from the Hacker Group Anonymous released following the discovery of Trapwire that gives the public more tips on how to avoid beat facial recognition systems, such as tilting your head more than 15 degrees.

How-to Fool Facial Recognition Tracking Systems

The hacker group Anonymous has released a how-to video to teach people how to avoid high-tech face scanning technology that tracks your every move.

Here’s a predicament: you don’t want the government using high-tech face scanning technology to track every inch of your walk to the post office, but you also don’t want to take a sledgehammer to your neighborhood surveillance camera. What do you do?

Don’t worry, concerned citizen! Big Brother may indeed be watching, but that doesn’t mean you have to make his unwarranted surveillance mission easy to operate.

Although little news has developed as of late in regards to TrapWire, a global surveillance operation that RT blew the cover off of nearly two weeks ago, opposition waged at the world-wide intelligence network is still rampant. Now in one of the newest videos uploaded to the Web to make people aware of TrapWire, a person claiming to be involved with Anonymous is trying to spread a YouTube clip that offers helpful suggestions on how to rage against the machine, properly and peacefully.

Last week, hacktivists proposed several campaigns aimed at eliminating TrapWire feeds by rendering the equipment thought to be linked to the intelligence system completely useless. In lieu of smashing camera lenses and spraying surveillance gear in sudsy liquid, though, a new video, “Anonymous – Fighting TrapWire,” offers instructions on how to prevent the acceleration of the surveillance state by means of passive resistant.

“Many of you have heard the recent stories about TrapWire,” the video begins. “Constant video surveillance is an issue we presently face. However, there are a number of ways that you can combat this surveillance.”

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Categories: POLICE STATE

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