A set of smart vending machines at the University of Waterloo is expected to be removed from campus after students raised privacy concerns about their software.

The machines have M&M artwork on them and sell chocolate and other candy. They are located throughout campus, including in the Modern Languages building and Hagey Hall.

Earlier this month, a student noticed an error message on one of the machines in the Modern Languages building. It appeared to indicate there was a problem with a facial recognition application.

“We wouldn’t have known if it weren’t for the application error. There’s no warning here,” said River Stanley, a fourth-year student, who investigated the machines for an article in the university publication, mathNEWS.

  • pewter
    link
    83 months ago

    Technology does way more than what some consumers want without adding enough value. Ring doorbell just grossly increased their ring protect plan cost and I’m starting to wonder:

    “Why are we paying monthly subscriptions for them to just store two months of snapshots with a few videos?”

    • @fidodo
      link
      English
      53 months ago

      We need open standards for data storage so we can have more freedom in how our data is stored.

      • pewter
        link
        33 months ago

        Absolutely. Nowadays you could afford an external hard drive to store such a small amount of videos. Plus, it gives you the benefit of having fewer eyes on your data. The notion of storing data on the cloud turns me off of having certain indoor cameras.

        • @fidodo
          link
          English
          23 months ago

          Definitely, but I’d like to see more accessible solutions for less technical people, and that’s possible with inter operative standards. It would be great if regulatory bodies required that all hardware supported at least one open standard.