Actor Jim Carrey did not say that Apple’s Face ID will be used to “enslave humanity” and will lead to “a totalitarian New World Order.” Last week, a site called ‘YourNewsWire’ published a story claiming that Carrey raised concerns about Apple’s new facial recognition system while at the Toronto Film Festival. Allegedly, Carrey told a reporter that Face ID is the “latest step on the march towards total surveillance.” That claim is patently false.
“If George Orwell wrote 1984 today, it would have been about tech companies ruling over a totalitarian state instead of communists, the stores would be called ‘town squares’ and the phones that you are forced to buy would read your face,” the actor ostensibly said, according to the site. “Only when they can read our thoughts will they stop. And by then it will be too late. They will have total power.”
Except he didn’t say any of that. While Carrey did attend the annual, Canada-based film festival, he did not make any of the above remarks to any news outlet. Put simply, the quotes and story about Carrey and Face ID are fabricated. And more than that, YourNewsWire is a known fake news website, according to both the non-profit organization FactCheck.org and the rumor-debunking site Gossip Cop.
Granted, Carrey did give a bizarre interview to an E! reporter at Fashion Week earlier this month. But that fact also hints at the fake news site’s motivation. YourNewsWire’s fake claims about Carrey and Face ID are obviously a move to capitalize on that weird interview while tying in Apple’s newly unveiled biometric platform (and even their decision to rename Apple Stores “Town Squares”).
One of the biggest clues is that the site is the only outlet with Carrey’s alleged “comments.” A celebrity as high-profile as the actor would attract a lot more media coverage, particularly for such a weird and unusual story.
There are certainly some valid privacy concerns about the proliferation of facial recognition technology. But fabricating stories and conspiracy theories about celebrities isn’t constructive. Let’s not forget that Apple has been pro-privacy for quite some time, even going so far as to wrestle with the FBI to protect its user security. So it’s not likely that Apple would suddenly team up with the government to “enslave humanity.”