Deconstructing Identity in the 21st Century

Andy Warhol saw Marilyn Monroe in many different ways...
Andy Warhol saw Marilyn Monroe in many different ways…

Never before has the individual identity been so empowered, nor has personal empowerment relied on others to this degree. Identity in the hyper-connected digital era exists in a paradox.

As we sacrifice privacy and more of our personal lives come online, the singular concept of a man or woman in control of their own manifest destiny falls.

While we share individual pieces of our lives, the image of ourselves we want people to see shifts. Our peers and family members add their own touches to the picture. Identity is no longer controlled by the individual, rather it’s painted in an impressionist or abstract fashion by their peers.

Further, identity is fractured, an overlapping jigsaw puzzle of roles. In one corner you have your work identity, in another family, and in a third, hobbies. On and on.

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Will Facial Recognition Ads End Privacy?

Check-In with Your Face from redpepper.

There’s a new attack on privacy: Facial recognition-driven advertising.

Facial recognition marketing uses cameras in stores and kiosks to take an impression of your face. It then estimates your gender and age, and serves you ads that are most likely to appeal to your demographic.

For example, a camera at a train station diorama senses you are a young man in his twenties, and serves you an ad for Axe soap. A young woman of the same age might be shown an ad for Crest Whitestrips.

It’s one thing to let others own your online social data. It’s another to surrender the physical whereabouts of your own face.

Yet, that’s where we are heading with the widespread movement towards facial recognition ads throughout the world.

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