A Picture is Worth a Cup of Coffee

Perhaps it’s inflation; pictures used to be worth a thousand words, but Google is now sending crews to select cities to ask participants to agree to use their camera to take selfies and give the pictures to Google as the tech giant develops facial recognition software. They’re offering a $5 gift card to Starbucks to participants.

It’s not any different from what millions of people post on Facebook daily. But this is willfully giving away privacy. Why do they do it?

”It’s a self-aggrandizement, self-verification that you’re important. You really want to dig down into why we all do it, we are all looking to be told we’re cool, and we’re wonderful,” says Houston psychologist Laurence Abrams. “And if someone is going to flash our picture up there we all want to be able to say, ‘They used my picture.’”

Google, it has been speculated, is working on the next generation of mobile phone facial recognition software, Pixel 4, for androids to match Apple’s Face D on iPhone.

“We need to be recognized. Secretly, sometimes. Sometimes people will swear they don’t want their privacy violated, but that’s all it is. They get the chance to be seen. A little narcissism,” says Abrams.

A little narcissism apparently goes a long way, and Google knows the psychology of people’s sweet spot.

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