At the Internet Cafe in San Diego, Calif., you'll find a small room brimming with glowsticks, glitter and latest playstation games. Inside, you'll find people testing their photo skills using repurposed smartphone cameras, every one with the latest in facial recognition.
But that's not all -- the iPhone of today has similar feature called Facial Recognition, and the idea behind it, supported by the city of San Diego's IT department, is to "enhance the security of the City" by continuously "tracing the residents and witnesses in local neighborhoods" with a smartphone camera.
On its website, the City of San Diego highlights in great detail how the system works: "The City’s Online Self-Inspection program allows users to inspect their image and obtain real-time information on the number of vehicle occupants in a photo."
If you want to opt out, you can, but the system only works using iPhone devices running iOS 10 or later. Here's how to get started.
How to opt out of the City of San Diego's facial recognition image search
After downloading an app called VisualScope, go to the photo upload page and click the "Set Up" link. If you have a Facebook account, it will automatically access the photos already on your profile (if the iPhone camera will detect a face, it will not use your default face detection settings). Once you have the camera and upload page, follow the directions to place your phone next to the camera behind you so you can take a photo.
Now your phone will take a photo each time you open your photo on the City of San Diego site, helping the department "identify private vehicles and pedestrians as well as signal the correct road configuration."
You can also opt out of the search on the phone screen.