Virginia Is For Frowners
People with ugly driver’s license photos, the state of Virginia feels your pain. The Department of Motor Vehicles in Virginia banned smiles—yes, smiles—and ordered all new photo-takers to make a “neutral expression” in their portraits. The DMV would like to develop a facial recognition system to standardize documentation and thwart fraudsters and identity thieves. OK, Big Brother, whatever you say.
Just a cranky DMV clerk barking “No smiling!” isn’t enough, though! The DMV’s software can detect and reject “attempts at exuberance or human warmth,” meaning if you flash some dimples or let your pearly whites crack through your lips, a computer will make you take your picture again.
Even though Virginia is just one of 37 DMV agencies nationwide to use the facial recognition software, Virginian drivers aren’t pleased. Groused one driver, “It makes everyone look like criminals.” [Washington Post]