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. Auloria

    Hi, my name is CNN and I'm in Facebook's pocket.

    April 2, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. ???

    So they didn't admit that Google denied that they were releasing this app...

    April 2, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. JAMES


    April 2, 2011 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. mb2010a

    The CIA and NSA have had facial recognition programs for years...nothing new here.

    April 2, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. chicagogam

    well the solution is obvious, wear a burka when you go out. 🙂

    April 2, 2011 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. TheLazyComic

    Google is out of control. Period.

    April 2, 2011 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. Garry

    It is April 1st joke shmacks!

    April 2, 2011 at 4:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. springer

    I am curious what photo databases Google is using. It seems to me the only identifiable info would need to come from someone like the state DMV.

    April 2, 2011 at 5:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. Meowzebub

    A really good reason to NOT have a Google Profile.

    April 2, 2011 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. JackoB

    Name to a face, phone number to a name, address to a phone number. The internet can give us two out of three already... Do we really want to make that last step?

    April 2, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bill Brasky

    This is sooooooo awesome! I can't wait!

    April 2, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. petes wickedale

    It's called April fools you idiots.

    April 2, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jim Brieske

    Technology is moving too fast. I am going to talk to God to slow it down.

    April 2, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jim Brieske

    MaggieJS is right.

    April 2, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. Shane Schmidt

    Great April Fools joke CNN!!! 🙂

    April 2, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
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