Look at this picture of 22-year-old Richard Lee. Do his eyes look open to you? Of course they do. But that didn’t stop an automated online system from rejecting his passport renewal because, according to the facial recognition software, his eyes were deemed to be closed.
“The photo you want to upload does not meet our criteria because: subject eyes are closed,” reads the form that Richard recently posted on Facebook. The online passport checker is run by New Zealand’s department for Internal Affairs, but it clearly needs a little recalibrating in order to recognize people of different ethnicities. Fortunately the engineering student found the funny side, and his passport was renewed after a later photograph was accepted.