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Google facial recognition blurs out the Big Prawn

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Google Maps has decided everyone has a right to privacy, even Ballina’s Big Prawn.

Google Maps showcases Australia's landmarks to the world, however it appears that Ballina's Big Prawn stands above the nation's other kitsch sights.

Its latest facial recognition software blurs out people’s faces to avoid potentially identifying them and has now decided that the Big Prawn should also be afforded the same courtesy, a case uncovered thanks to Reddit detectives.

Luckily, Australia’s other landmarks the Big Merino, the Big Banana, the Big Pineapple and the Big Potato remained uncensored.

This is not the first time Google Maps facial recognition software has gone awry.

In the UK, pub signs and billboards have been smudged out while a cow in the US had its face blurred to 'protect' its identity.


Some businesses are leaping to use facial recognition technology to ‘smoothen’ people's lives, with one Sydney coffee shop utilising it for customers' favourite orders, while apps to see if your ‘portrait’ is in an art museum have taken social media by storm.

However, social media facial recognition technology, particularly that of Facebook, has recently drawn fire following claims that it is violating users’ privacy by keeping a database of their facial features.

In February, Facebook announced it was introducing facial recognition to find users in posted photos, alerting them and others, even if the person had not been tagged, building a database of users' facial features.

With Jennifer Duke