We can fool that spooky facial recognition tech by pretending to be Prince Philip
Like that kid in the Sixth Sense, I see dead people – all the time.
Actually, no, it's not dead people. It's women's shoes.
And it's not all the time, it's just when I'm browsing the web.
Thing is, I like women's feet, and I like the footwear they wrap them in. And after years of intensive (but enjoyable) study, I've become rather a fine judge.
Which is why I occasionally treat Mrs Green to a pair of wedged slingbacks in the colour of burnt spice or some such (I said I was good).
But the weird side-effect of all this is that, thanks to the borderline creepiness of all those cookies and algorithms, I now see ads for female footwear all over the web.
It results in some weird bedfellows. I'll be perusing a niche blog about Nordic jazz, and there they are in the corner: espadrille mules.
Or I'll be in the middle of a fascinating treatise on the security flaws in NFC and bingo! Black suede ankle boots.
Of course, there are two ways of looking at this. My heart tells me these ads are invasive and wrong. My head says nonsense – it's just anonymised data mining designed to make my browsing more relevant.
And I'm not stupid. I'm no technical expert but I'm fairly sure this is done by software, and not Jonathan Abraham at Google (hi Jon!) personally following my browsing patterns on his laptop. I don't think he has the time.
As we all know, the utter dominance of the free model on the web means that advertising has to pay for everything, which is why, to quote ex Facebook engineer Jeff Ammerbacher, ‘The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.'
So it may be futile to resist this onslaught. But we could have some fun.
In recent weeks, Facebook has come in for some flak for its plans to integrate the facial recognition tech from Face.com into its tracking tech.
Let's assume that the phone camera detects your face and matches it with your Facebook pics, and then presents ads based on your past behaviour.
I've got an idea.
Wear a mask.
Imagine the revelations. You're the Queen and along with ads for Corgi apparel and Highland biscuits you're offered Slipknot tickets.
Or you're Jeremy Clarkson, and you're besieged with promotions for organic tofu.
Then there's the flip side. You could mock up a mask or your ex and start browsing something really disgusting.
Something no decent person would ever admit to being interested in.
Like a blog on the security flaws in NFC