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.

  • @fidodo
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    53 months ago

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

    • pewter
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      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
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        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.