Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wipe That Smile Off Your Face!

"You may not smile in Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada, or Virginia." At least, not if you are getting your driver's license photo taken.

Apparently, they use photo detection software to compare faces for identity fraud purposes. And smiling thwarts the computer.

Is it even legal (or constitutional) to require drivers to not smile? Can they frown? Stick out their tongues? Look cross-eyed? (Interesting face research where you can combine 2 faces; and a blog on pics of faces in places; and make your own Flash face like Mr Potato Head).

I supposed DMV would prefer folks who are depressed when they get their photo taken, to keep the computers happy. One man's downer is another machine's Prozac.

Just bizarre.


Awake and Dreaming said...

You can't smile for Canadian Passports... and you can't smile in drivers licenses in my province... i always look mad in my photos.

Anonymous said...

I have always smiled in the past on official photos. Probably still will give a closed lip smile if/when the system changes in my state.

Rach said...

Can't smile for driver's licences in Ontario either... Yet you can for your health card photo. I pull my health card out approximately 60 times for every time I pull out my driver's license.

Anonymous said...

I look like I'm stoned no matter what I do for mug shots.

Medela Metro Bag said...

All I can do after reading this post is smile, I just don't get it, why the hell this is imposed on innocent people like us!


Owner said...

In many places in Europe you're not allowed to smile on official photos (passport/visa) either, and as far as I recall, you can't smile on the photo for a US visa either. I don't think anyone really cares about your mental well-being and whether you're happy or depressed (I don't think you're allowed to cry either when they take official photos), but it's probably easier to recognize people if they're serious... or it just makes them feel like their work is serious business... I don't know, it never bothered me that much, mainly because in many of these places by the time you get your photo taken, smiling is the last thing you feel like doing.

Dawn said...

I live in Virginia and smiled for my license!

BIO said...

I am an artist and I also understand the use of identity images for official use by various organizations. I reckon that the purpose of a laid out face without unnecessary contortions that indicate emotions is essential to a valid identity photograph.

afavita y2k said...

Actually it is the only way to disctinguish fast if you are a normallaw obeying citizen or dangerous criminal or terrorist.

Infact only if you don't smile, your facial muscles are supposed to be completely relaed and natural, and vice versa, if a mentally abnormla person is not smiling, he is still not relaxed and does look unnatural.

On the other hand, if you have to smile for a picture, you will never smile in a natural way, but forced (unless for a million dollars contest winner picture).

If the police has modern AI technologies, it would be more easy to recognise form a picture oif the owner is harmless or harmful for society.