The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Wipe That Grin Off Your Face!
Why? Because as more states follow the lead of Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada, and Virginia, anything other than a neutral expression throws off new facial recognition software that compares new photo ID pictures with previously existing ones. The technology, designed to increase security and reduce fraud, "works best when the images are similar," said a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles spokeswoman, Pam Goheen, quoted in a recent Washington Post report. So if you find yourself online at the DMV when the old song "Put on a Happy Face" pops up in your head, don’t.