I thought for a moment that I was reading the Onion. The Virginia DMV is in the process of banning smiling in your drivers’ license photos. Due to some face-recognition technology being implemented in DMV systems, you’ll need to adopt a “neutral expression” when your picture is taken, or the system, programmed to detect your terrorist-loving grin, will reject the photo.
So when your teenager gets her license, she’s not allowed to look happy about it. The face-recognition software works better on faces wearing the same expression. Which is just dandy, really- technology that can’t identify a face that’s smiling is going to be used by all manner of law-enforcement agencies to identify suspects, by comparing that oh-so-high-quality DMV photo with the crisp and sharp images from ATM cameras and suchlike. Because I know that when I’m knocking over a liquor store, what I’m wearing is a “neutral expression.”