15. September 2020
In July 2004, Google acquired Picasa from Lifescape and began offering it as freeware . At this time I lived in Barrydale, a small town far away from Cape Town in Western Cape, South Africa, when Telkom South Africa started 2009 to connect rural areas to their new DSL Internet backbone. I was happy to get one of the few access points reserved and started building up my channel on Youtube and joined Facebook to stay in contact with my family in Germany and friends all over the globe. Two years later I discovered a folder on Picasa named “unnamed faces” containing more than thousand faces of people which the face recognition software of Picasa identified in thousand of pictures I managed using Picasa. I was quite astounded at the capability of this freeware and downloaded the search result. Later I heard that many countries tried to block this freeware regarding it’s impact on privacy rights. Nowadays it is common standard especially in China where it is used in combination with surveillance by video cameras. Germany, after experiencing decades of suppression, was one of the first countries delivering a banning order. But nevertheless I saw all the faces on my screen far away in South Africa – and I used them to produce some videoclips which I uploaded to my Youtube channel.