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Facial Recognition Tech | Fatal Conveniences™

Facial Recognition Tech | Fatal Conveniences™

Facial recognition tech may save you a few seconds while unlocking your smartphone. But what is that infrared radiation doing to your eyes? And your overall health? 

Welcome to Fatal Conveniences™. 

Are we really that strapped for time that we can’t hit a few buttons to unlock our phones??

Facial recognition technology is an amazing thing. It bulks up the security game of government agencies, companies and facilities all over the world. The science behind it blows my mind, frankly. But is it really necessary to use a facial scanner to unlock your phone?

I was on the fence with this one. I really didn’t know what I was going to find while diving into the research on infrared light. But as it turns out, radiation pointed directly at your eyeballs is not all that great. Surprise!

Look, I’m not saying this technology doesn’t have a purpose. I’m just saying there are too many unknowns to expose yourself daily to it. Because what we do know about infrared light radiation is pretty disturbing. Protect your eyes, guys. Go back to good old fashion passcodes.

Other info in this Fatal Conveniences™ segment:
  • [00:03:15] The purpose of facial recognition tech
  • [00:06:20] Different types of scanning and their uses
  • [00:08:05] How facial recognition tech is harmful
  • [00:10:32] A disturbing study on the effects of infrared light
  • [00:13:15] Breaking down the science of IR radiation’s effects
  • [00:15:03] What can you do about it?

Episode Transcript

Darin: It’s that time of the week for another fatal convenience. This is a bite-size segment that addresses some of society’s fatal conveniences and the steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of them. I define fatal conveniences as the things we may be doing because the world we live in makes us believe we have to, tap water, shampoo, sunglasses, food. I dive into the hidden truths behind some of our everyday choices that could not only be harming us but even killing us, so let’s dive in.

Darin: Hey, everybody, welcome to the show. This is Darin Oliene. This is another installment of Fatal Conveniences for you to be aware of what’s going on around you, what you’re doing, what you may not be doing so that you can be aware, so you can be healthier, so you can liberate yourself from some of the things that we’ve done in our modern society that have ultimately created some conveniences but may not be great for you. You get it. You understand at this point, let me create some context for this next fatal convenience. We are an electrical body. Every cell in our body has frequency, has an electrical charge. So when we hit our thumb, we actually increase our electrical charge to that damaged tissue, and which is then invoking the healing response. Did you know that? It’s crazy, right? Our heart has a field of electromagnetics along with our body. So we have so many incredible healing and powerful mechanisms in our body from electricity to magnetism, to biophotonics of our microbiome, sending light frequencies and light communications, communicating simultaneously within cells electrically. We know and also don’t know so much about the body. So when relaying in all of these fatal conveniences, especially around EMFs, around frequencies, around these experiments that are using electrics and electric frequencies, we actually don’t know what it’s doing to our physiology. We’re starting to understand. So it’s a massive experiment. This next fatal convenience is the facial recognition on your smartphones. You know how you look at the phone, and it reads your face or your iris, and it opens up your phone. So no longer do you need to put the passcode in there to open it up. It just recognizes your face or your eyes. So maybe at the end of this, you’ll want to go back to just typing in your passcode. I would venture to guess you probably will. So thanks to this modern technology of facial recognition where you just look at your phone, it opens up, it’s safe, it’s locked, no one else can do it supposedly, and all of those things.

And then you can download the next app, you can look in your social media. Obviously, it’s convenience. A little history: facial recognition on our phones comes from this idea and development of retina. So using our eyes, the iris scanning from the 1980s. In 1987, two years after the first retinal scanner was developed, Leonard Flom and Aran Safir patent the use of the iris patterns. So it’s really looking at the iris patterns as a personal identifier. However, it was not until 1994 when John Daugman developed the technology for iris scanning. From there, iris scanning technology began to challenge the retinal scanning. Currently, a number of companies claiming that they perform retinal scanning is really performing iris scanning. So we have a bunch of that source stuff in the show notes, but the cool thing is it’s a cool technology. So the technology is considered to be relatively young, but it becomes more established in society today. Facial recognition is the most commonly used technology. This process is not necessarily iris scan through your eyes and the process maps your entire face using infrared light. This is where we are going to start getting into the challenges. Your phone manufacturer dictates what kind of technology is used. Apple uses facial recognition whereas Samsung uses iris scan. This technology can be widely used from stadiums, conferences, law enforcement, and of course, the smartphones. Whether you scan your face for admission into a concert, or download an app, this is where the society is going. Now, I’m not even going to get into the fact that this is gnarly. I get opening up your phone, no big deal, but scanning you as you’re walking around the city, and the government knowing where you’re at, and all of that stuff. Now, that is draconian and crazy from my point of view. What’s the point of doing that? Because they also know that there have been several aspects of criminal recognition from that that have actually failed and put incorrect people behind bars. So they can’t really rely on that for total and complete recognition of someone because it also can be manipulated. It’s not like it’s physical DNA or anything, but that’s all I’m gonna say on that. The fun facts here is not so much fun. But it is kind of interesting. The retina and iris scanning are commonly used interchangeably when it comes to referencing the technology of this whole scanning side of things used in recent models and smartphones and facial recognition. However, the scans are all very different.

Retinal scans map the unique patterns of a person’s blood vessels within the retina, absorb certain kinds of light more readily than the surrounding tissue and have their own patterns. Iris scanning is a process of recognizing a person by analyzing the pattern of their actual iris. So that’s almost like the fingerprint of the eye on the iris and then that creates this facial recognition or 3D map of your face. Okay, so it’s just interesting facts of what we’re dealing with. So what makes it convenient? Well, we know that it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s painless, you don’t even have to remember any of the digits anymore. I get it. Thanks to attention aware feature on the iPhone, you can then unlock your phone simply by looking at it. This feature also reveals messages notification, leaves the screen lit while you’re reading and all of these other features. So obviously, it’s a convenience. It’s much faster than having to tap in a lengthy passcode that takes half a second to type in. It’s so crazy. We are so conveniently screwed with all these things that cut time, but then we waste time. It cuts time, and then we waste time. That’s a whole nother fatal convenience. So just lookout for that one. I just made that up right now. We’re doing all of these conveniences to save time, but then we waste more time. Oh my gosh, we are crazy people. So let’s just cut to it. So why is facial recognition harmful?

Let’s look at actually how it works. It’s using infrared light, using both the iris scanning and the facial recognition of the structure of your face. So they’re both using the same type of infrared light. And Apple does a whole thing of bringing it down. We actually pulled a quote from Apple, “The true depth camera,” this is actually their trademark, “The true depth camera captures accurate face data by projecting the analysis over 3,000 invisible dots to create a depth map of your face and also captures an infrared image of your face. A portion of the neural engine of the A11, A12 bionics, A12x bionics, A13 bionic chip, blah, blah, blah. This is what transforms the depth mat of the infrared image.” And using algorithms and mathematics, that’s how it does. It does face ID, automatically adapts to the changes in your appearance, such as wearing cosmetics, blah, blah, blah, and that’s how it does. Again, we have a bunch of this stuff in the show notes. A professor who studies pattern recognition in the computer vision at Michigan State University explains in Forbes, it compares two face images and determines how similar they are. In the simplest way, that’s what facial recognition does. You enroll your face, just like Touch ID, you enroll your fingerprint. The article also goes on to explain that the infrared radiation works to map your face. So infrared radiation, which is the thing that they were using, the tool that they’re using for this facial recognition is thermal radiation. It’s more electromagnetic radiation spectrum and a certain wavelength above red visible light between 700 nanometers and one millimeter. That’s the wavelength. And then there was a study done on and this is brutal, I’m sorry that this happened to the rabbits. However, I am going to cite this study in service of the rabbits that, unfortunately, were brutally killed in this process.

I hate that studies are still doing this. But this is something that was done. The study was done in New Zealand to look at potentially harmful effects of this infrared radiation, this IR standing for infrared radiation on the eye. The rabbits were exposed to varying amounts of the IR, then we’re, unfortunately, this is where it’s brutal, I’m just telling you, their heads were cut off. So then they weren’t able to look at the lenses and the retinas and all of that stuff immediately after that. And they concluded that the protein of the eye lense is very, very sensitive to this infrared radiation. And that’s the difference. Infrared radiation really doesn’t do much in this form to the skin and to the body. But when it’s directed at the eye, that’s where things can go sideways. And that actually can contribute to cataracts, the exposure of the rabbits was up to 10 minutes. And keep in mind that that is not the exposure, it’s usually 10 seconds for the phone. But what we don’t know yet is how little and how much it will create the damage. But if you’re opening your phone multiple times a day, then that adds up. And then over time, over the length of you using your phone and weeks, months and years and decades, now you’re starting to get the hint that infrared radiation going into your eyeball is not a great idea. According to the International Commission on nonionizing radiation protection, ICNIRP, they made a statement of the IR energy from IRA and IRB poses a risk to the human eye. The penetration depth of these IR bands varies from 1.2 and 3 micrometers. Therefore, the cornea, the lens, and the retina can be damaged due to the thermal effects associated with the IR exposure. Again, the International Commission of Nonionizing Radiation Protection notes that harmful health effects of IR are due to the thermal injury of tissues mediated largely through water molecules, but also through the changes to the protein structure. So as this nonionizing radiation hits the water in those cells around the retina, it changes the water molecules as well as the protein structure.

So again, going back to this electrical system that we have as a body and as of cells, and we’re throwing radiation and other electromagnetic fields at the body, we are damaging the structure especially since water is so affected by energies, it affects the structure of the water cells of the retina in this case and then also, the protein structure. So protein structure and RNA and DNA is also created by this electrical impulse. The RNA is largely instructed through electrical impulses by the DNA. So this can be very harmful. The main harmful health effects of high IR exposure are to the eye. The cornea, the iris, the lens, the retina are all highly sensitive to varying degrees of thermal damage. When the cornea absorbs IR radiation with conversion into heat conducted to the lens, the aggregates of the lens proteins after repeated exposure to extreme heat can cause lens opacities or cataracts are even often seen in glassworkers and iron and steelworkers. Again, it’s overexposure of these things. And over time, this is what we don’t know. So five seconds here, two seconds there. We’re constantly using this. It’s being directed from the smartphone all the way to the eye. It’s sensitive membranes, that’s the point. It’s being directed at the face. It’s being directed at the eyes. And it’s constant exposure over time. So what can we do about it?

Well, you can lower the exposure that you’re using your facial recognition on your phone, you can put it in your settings. You can use it just to unlock your phone, and that’s it, not to download apps or buy anything, you can just limit it to open your phone. That’s something easy you can do, not to confirm payments, or downloading and all that stuff. But you can also go back to the passcode, that’s what I did. Just the passcode takes half a second, ding, ding, ding, ding, boom you’re in. You don’t have to stare at your phone. So just cut that whole thing all the way off. I never set it up, so you can protect your eyes. And also, if you are using it very limitedly, keep it at least eight inches away, don’t bring it up to your face, so keep the distance. And don’t stare at it for more than 10 seconds. But that’s almost impossible. So again, the eyes are very sensitive, the cornea, the lens, the iris, all of these tissues are very sensitive, and we’re sending radiation directed at the eye. Is that a good idea? Use your common sense. This is not a good idea. Shut that part off on the phone, go back to your passcode, and you don’t have to damage your eye. If you do this over a decade, two decades, all of that stuff, and then you wonder why I have cataracts or my eyes don’t work. Well, this may be a contributing factor. So use your common sense. This is an easy one. You don’t have to use it, literally. It’s not saving you any more time. It’s not saving you any more time that you’re gonna waste anyway. I wasn’t sure about this one, but now I am. We found research to back it up. It bothers and affects your eyes. Don’t affect your eyes. You don’t have to. So guess what? This is a fatal convenience. It doesn’t have to be fatal, doesn’t have to hurt your eyes. Remember, I love you, and I want nothing but the best for you. Have the best day ever.

Darin: Thanks for tuning in everyone. I hope that left you feeling inspired to take a closer look at the everyday choices you’re making and how they could be impacting your health and even the planet. If you want to learn more about life’s fatal conveniences, head over to You can sign up for the exclusive access to Fatal Conveniences episodes, news, insights, and more. And all this great stuff gets sent each week straight to your inbox, making it really easy. Now, that’s a convenience without the negative side effects. It only takes a few seconds to join. Just fill in the form and take that amazing step towards making better choices. Remember, small changes can have a big impact. So, keep diving my friends, keep diving. And if you haven’t had a chance to check out the interview, I released earlier on the week, here’s what you missed:

Rich: I am a believer in the inherent goodness of humans. And I think that gives me peace. Now, do I get concerned about conspiracy theories and the truth being very hard to find? Sure. But it just means we have to be a little bit more diligent. And I think we have to be more deliberate about okay, I’m hearing this, and it seems to resonate with me, but now let me go proactively find the opposite opinion, and then process that. And then maybe proactively go and find a third opinion and process that. We’re so caught up because of the ease of information. We’re so caught up and we get seduced by those news bits that oh, yeah, I agree with that, and we take that as the truth versus really making a proactive effort to first empathize with people we disagree with and say, okay, what are some of those points, and I think these are things that we can practice and do more proactively.

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