Overheard on CNN.com: When does an app go too far?
April 1st, 2011
06:23 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: When does an app go too far?

Comment of the Day: "Hide your faces, hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your husband, cuz they’re stalkin errbody out there!"–NokBaseball

Google making app that would identify people's faces

Who is that cute person across the room? A Google app in development would allow you to find out by snapping a photo, but only if the person in the snapshot had given Google access. In spite of this requirement, most of our readers thought this was a bad idea. Qwurky1 said, "Sexual predators and stalkers will love this app!" karleemonstr wondered, "Why can't Google just concentrate on being the best search engine company?"

Horseblinds said, “This app is perfect for those who would like to commit home invasion or other types of burglary. Even if your physical address doesn’t show up, you can spend a few dollars online and do a reverse name/phone # lookup for that." Klminnm said, "Not if, but when identity thieves get their hands on this app then nobody will be safe because they will be able to couple your picture to the info. This scares the hell outta me!"

have5cats said, "Even if I have checked 'no' to access, does anybody seriously believe that Google will then delete the photo? And what happens when somebody hacks into Google's database?"

kelliann3 said, "You get teenagers and older people who don't recognize the dangers and they opt in and then are killed, kidnapped, robbed, raped. Not everyone is computer savvy."

The story left many wondering whether privacy is a modern-day fairy tale. ArickM said, "Ahhh how cute, you guys thought that you had privacy before this. If you have been using the Internet for a while, then you have probably left quite a trail of personal info."

coming4u said, "Funny how for decades we somehow thought it would be the government collecting our personal information. Who would've thought us drones would willingly offer ourselves on silver platters?"

But according to AngryDeuce, "Cops already use it. I recall a story a few years back about them putting cameras up at a football game, scanning faces in the crowds, and identifying dozens of people with warrants out for their arrest. We're gonna be living in 'Minority Report' very soon." And 7veils said, "Normally this would make me upset about loss of privacy. But in my state the driver’s licenses all have pictures taken that the state has digitized for quick facial recognition."

JoeISP said, "It astounds me how people get excited as privacy dies. Clap clap clap, it's 1984." legman said, "Let's put up a website named "my social security number.com" and see how many will put theirs on it!!!!"

7 winners claim Mega Millions ticket

It seems that almost everyone can enjoy a rags-to-riches story, or at least a "working Joe (and Jill) to riches" story. Seven co-workers from a New York housing office will each take home more than $19 million after taxes from the Mega Millions lottery. Most readers seemed genuinely happy for the co-workers’ good fortune.

Jomm said, "This is feel-good story that we all need to hear. I am tired of the bad stuff. I am glad to hear a good story. Good job CNN." TheWalrus said, "Good for them. Good age too, those people were probably stressing about retirement in their future and now they are set. I play in an office pool, hopefully that happens to me!"

Elroyeye said, "I am glad to read they played for years before winning. May all their previous daydreams and 'what if's' come true." Knightempler said, "Way to go. The new American dream answered again."

A few warned of the problems that could come with winning, but most scoffed at the doomsayers. Gestalted said, "Best of luck to them all, and hope this money neither creates nor destroy relationships in their personal lives." shnawky1 replied, "Only a very few people's lives are ‘screwed up by the lottery.’ You never hear about the folks who take their winnings and quietly retire (the vast majority)."

Of course, there’s the fun of imagining life as a winner: LeeOswald said, "If I won, that would be the last day I ever worked. I'd have to call in rich.” shnawky1 figured, "Let's say they slap $18 million of their win into accounts returning this 4% annually. That would get them (gross) about 700K a year. After 26 years they would still have their principal of 18M and would have had a very good life.”

Agonyflips quipped: "Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with. Money isn't everything... but it sure keeps the kids in touch."

Boy carves out a career in opera

Move over, Justin Bieber, there's another boy in the singing spotlight. Twelve-year-old Michael Kepler Meo is singing the major opera role of Miles in Benjamin Britten’s "The Turn of the Screw."

7veils said, "Justin Beaver wishes he could sing like this kid. What a range and voice."

horseblinds said, "He's like the new Bieber. Except. With talent. And learning an art form instead of a digitized mass-media teenie-bopper flavor of the week charade of a genre." Mannytee89 said, "Best of luck to him, hope he gets to be a kid while being molded into a superstar."

machew said, "Take care of your voice, kid, but don't let them turn you into a diva in the process. Every so often, tell them all to go take a hike. Find the most irreverent singer in the cast and hang out with that person before you forget how to have fun."

Many wished him the best of luck as he grows older. Animaguskatt said, "Wow, talented kid, and bright, too. Only some boy sopranos make it through puberty with singing voices as good as when they were kids, but for his sake I hope his young adult voice is as beautiful as his youthful one. Not many people find a true passion so young, so I hope he's able to continue for the rest of his life."

Geoffmag said, "Handsome lad with a beautiful voice. Hope the puberty fairy doesn't rain on his parade."

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: iReport • Overheard on CNN.com
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. kim

    Its just going to be a another way for stalkers and crooks to harrass people I never gave my full information to any of these internet sites there strangers why would you tell people you never met or saw all your information or life story its stupid. I would never do that anyone that does is inviting STALKERS!

    April 2, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jim Brieske

    Kim, the problem is not technology. It is the parole boards that let out the killers only to kill more people. They need to be buried alive along with the culprits-Jim

    April 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Name*abdullah

    We are all finish there will be no more things call privacy from now on they are all bunch of liers asking to give them all ur private imformation and it end of in the terrorist hands???!!!!!!??????

    April 2, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sunshine Girl

    These computer things like Google, The Internet ect, can only get whatever YOU YOURSELF make available/give them. Remember that. When your on the internet never use any real info if you dont have to. You never know who your interacting with, regardless of what they say/do/claim to be. Protect yourself at all costs. because for as many good people, there are just as many bad ones. IF this is an April Fools joke, then good going whoever thought it up. Pretty funny and probably fooled ALOT of people.

    April 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sunshine Girl

    If this is real can anyone give me reliable/verifiable sources where I can read more about it? Thank you.

    April 2, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    Same thing as Facebook but backwards, enter their face and get their name.

    April 2, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BlahserBlah

    Actually, I think I have the answer – I think you could make the case that this is theft if your identifiable characteristics are being used against your will for profit making enterprise. Simple trademark or copyright your image and then sue every app maker, and parent company who uses it to further their commercial interests.

    April 2, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. New nine

    You can thank Gerry Springer and the rest of the bear it all to the world shows like that. This is why people are so willing to through away there privacy and soverighty away forever.

    April 3, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sunshine Girl

    @BlahserBlah: Hey pretty good thought there. I like it.

    April 3, 2011 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. hugogatsby

    And now comes the inevitable downfall of social media.

    April 5, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. d brooks

    i'm not going to live in fear because i might be recognized. seems a bit over the deep end. but just to make a point, i wouldn't have an app like this unless i enjoyed spying on people. can't really think of any other use for it.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dirk Lemmons


    April 16, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
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    August 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
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