When colour film first hit the mass market, photographers found they had a really hard time correctly exposing black people’s faces. This is because film was designed and optimised for white people. Does that mean the film was racist? No, it’s film. Was it made with some implicit racial biases? You betcha.
I have a sneaking suspicion something pretty similar has happened here, with New Zealand‘s passport photo recognition system registering a pair of very clearly open eyes as “closed”.
Aussie DJ wizards Mashd N Kutcher posted to their Facebook the response their mate Richard Lee got when he and NZ’s immigration agency’s facial recognition systems heavily disagreed over what his face was doing:
Poor guy was just trying to get his passport sorted so he could go home for Christmas and some bloody Kiwi robot decided to start gaslighting him about what his eyes are doing, unbelievable.
After contacting them by phone, they told Richard that the photo was rejected due to “uneven lighting on the face”. Yeah mate, I’m sure it was.
He’s not miffed, though, telling P.TV that he found it pretty funny: “I don’t find it racist, I don’t really care.”
Nice one mate, also well done on having a passport photo that makes you look like a billionaire model, mine makes me look like the guy from ‘Jurassic Park‘ who got killed by the dinosaur when he tried to steal the embryos.