HP Webcam Racially Profiles, Freezes in Fear

A new viral video claims Hewlett-Packard webcams can't see dark-skinned people. From CNN:

Can Hewlett-Packard's motion-tracking webcams see black people? It's a question posed on a now-viral YouTube video and the company says it's looking into it.

In the video, two co-workers take turns in front of the camera — the webcam appears to follow Wanda Zamen as she sways in front of the screen and stays still as Desi Cryer moves about.

HP acknowledged in a statement e-mailed to CNN that the cameras may have issues with contrast recognition in certain lighting situations. The webcams, built into HP's new computers, are supposed to keep people's faces and bodies in proportion and centered on the screen as they move.

The video went viral over the weekend, garnering more than 400,000 YouTube page views and a slew of comments on Twitter.

It was something neither Zamen nor Cryer expected to happen.

Zamen said she and Cryer, her co-worker, were playing around with the computer at work and testing it when they stumbled upon the facial recognition feature.


Read more on the webcam goof at CNN

…Maybe the camera's post-racial?

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