Tag Archives: Mobile World Conference

Selfies as Passwords for Credit Cards

NBCNEWS Soon MasterCard customers will be able to use fingerprints, wearable devices to detect things like heartbeats, and even selfies to confirm purchases online. This news is just the latest in gadgetry coming right out of Barcelona at the Mobile World Conference. Ann Cairns, the head of international markets for MasterCard has said, “biometric checks have been trialed in the US and now the company will begin launching these checks in the UK very soon”. According to a survey by MasterCard, 53 percent of shoppers forget passwords at least once a week, wasting more than 10 minutes to reset their accounts and leading to a third of shoppers abandoning their purchase.

No really, people now can take selfies for a legitimate reason. Does anyone see any issue with this? At first glance it seems like a great idea- especially with the crazy statistic that over fifty percent of people forget their passwords in a week; but I have a feeling like this could be abused. Fingerprint scanners seem legit, I use mine all the time to unlock my iPhone and get into my mobile banking; although it is kind of sketchy that companies now have your fingerprint in storage (not that mines not already with the 5-0 anyways. What about this facial recognition software? Facebook has already invested a ton into this new technology and it’s kind of freaky how much it works- ever notice how Facebook knows who to tag in your photos? What about if you had a photo of someone and you used it to confirm purchases? Still this idea of companies knowing your face, fingerprints, and overall life and selling this data to other companies to target you seems too much for me. It’s like Minority Report and I don’t know if I’m ready to deal with that.


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Everyone’s geekin-out over this photo of Mark Zuckerberg

What some are calling an allegory of our future, the photo taken above has the internet in a firenze. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, is depicted walking past an oblivious audience who has just been shown Samsung’s new Gear VR. This is no random event; it is the Mobile World Conference. MWC is an exhibition that happens once a year right here in Barcelona, Spain. To summarize, its basically an event for the biggest tech/mobile companies in the world to showcase what products they have lined up. What is making the event more important each year is the growing population of people who have smartphones and their presence on social media-most notably Facebook who just hit over a billion users at the end of last year. It’s said that there are more people in the world that own a smart phone than a toothbrush… but you know how statistics go, 70% of the time they’re right all the time.

So here we see Zuckerberg, walking down the aisle with his shit-eating grin, seeming as if he is satisfied with the hundreds of people all wired in like they’re in the matrix. You can just picture him scheming, rubbing his hands together, laughing maniacally like he finally figured out a way to completely remove people from reality. As if Facebook wasn’t already enough of a distraction from realitythere’s finally a way to bring them even closer to the edge- virtual reality. Allegory of our future; a world where all the rich bastards can jog around the Sagrada Familia and the rest of us can sit in a room and imagine it… scary stuff, huh? Now don’t go grabbing your tin-foil helmets screaming that we’re gonna turn out like the mindless fat people in Wall-E just yet, I think we’ll be okay. Obviously any warning won’t stop the internet from over-reacting. Some reactions have been just as you’d expect- pessimistic; while others have turned to humor to recreate the scene in hilarious fashion (mine being the Travolta Pulp Fiction scene).

Honestly, with the changes Facebook has been making as of late (especially in the field of journalism) it’s interesting to think about just where we are going with Facebook and how much it connects us with one another. Adding in new features like Reactions to bring more realism to the like button, to its addition of Instant ArticlesFacebook is clearly trying to extend its reach into every aspect of our lives as it can. These additions now allow journalists to gage exactly how people are feeling based on a breaking story. In the past, users have complained that when a tragic story breaks, they do not want to ‘like’ it. With reactions, anyone can showcase how they are feeling while the post will continue to gain traffic. Instant articles is following in the likes of Snapchat’s Discovery page, creating an interactive, visual, and easy to use platform for people to read into the news. Facebook is now taking over where you connect with friends, share your experiences, and now read your news. As of today, our electronic footprint and personal data is larger than ever and Facebook knows how to get the most of it out of us. This has both users nervous, and advertising companies salivating.


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