FOTM has been chronicling the increasing encroachments on our freedom, big and small, by legislation like NDAA and Obamacare, as well as the petty tyranny by local and state governments, such as:
- No goldfish for you
- No treehouse for you
- No veggie garden for you
- No lemon tree for you
- No baby bottle-milk for you
- No kid’s birthday party for you
- No bunny for you
- No salt shaker for you
- No playing outside unsupervised for you
Now add smiling for your driver’s license photo to the ever-growing list of petty tyrannies by little nazis.
David Madden and Robin Rieger report for CBS Philly, Sept. 20, 2012, that if you’re getting a driver’s license in New Jersey, you are now forbidden from smiling too much.
This is because of the facial recognition software used in most states these days. If you smile or frown too broadly, the software might raise a red flag, suggesting you’re not who you claim to be.
In New Jersey, staffers at the Motor Vehicle Commission are trained to take a picture that works within the system, according to spokeswoman Elyse Coffey. “If you’d like to smile, that’s great. What we’re asking people is to not smile as if they just won the $5 million dollars in the lottery smile.”
Coffey says the facial recognition software checks to make sure you are you: “The distance between someone’s mouth and their chin. The distance between their mouth and their nose. The distance between their eyes. And when you make a bizarre or obscure facial expression, it prohibits the computer from conducting the measurements it needs to do.”
The good news is if you don’t like your picture, you can have it re-taken. Also, New Jersey has started allowing some drivers to skip having their pictures taken as long as the photo on file meets security requirements — provided, of course, you don’t have a big smile.