Back in the year 2000, about 100 billion photos were shot worldwide, but only a minuscule proportion of them were actually uploaded online. In 2010, only on Facebook, in a single month, 2.5 billion photos were uploaded, most of them identified. In the same span of time, computers' ability to recognize people in photos improved by three orders of magnitude. What happens when you combine these technologies together: increasing availability of facial data; improving facial recognizing ability by computers; but also cloud computing, which gives anyone in this theater the kind of computational power which a few years ago was only the domain of three-letter agencies; and ubiquitous computing, which allows my phone, which is not a supercomputer, to connect to the Internet and do there hundreds of thousands of face metrics in a few seconds? Well, we conjecture that the result of this combination of technologies will be a radical change in our very notions of privacy and anonymity.

We may like to believe that the future with so much wealth of data would be a future with no more biases, but in fact, having so much information doesn’t mean that we will make decisions which are more objective. In another experiment, we presented to our subjects information about a potential job candidate. We included in this information some references to some funny, absolutely legal, but perhaps slightly embarrassing information that the subject had posted online. Now interestingly, among our subjects, some had posted comparable information, and some had not. Which group do you think was more likely to judge harshly our subject? Paradoxically, it was the group who had posted similar information, an example of moral dissonance.

Now you may be thinking, this does not apply to me, because I have nothing to hide. But in fact, privacy is not about having something negative to hide. Imagine that you are the H.R. director of a certain organization, and you receive résumés, and you decide to find more information about the candidates. Therefore, you Google their names and in a certain universe, you find this information. Or in a parallel universe, you find this information.