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Face Recognition: Anonymous no more (You canít hide ó from anybody)
Economist ^ | 7/30/11

Posted on 07/29/2011 10:16:11 AM PDT by LibWhacker

IF YOUR face and name are anywhere on the web, you may be recognised whenever you walk the streets—not just by cops but by any geek with a computer. That seems to be the conclusion from some new research on the limits of privacy.

For suspected miscreants, and people chasing them, face-recognition technology is old hat. Brazil, preparing for the soccer World Cup in 2014, is already trying out pairs of glasses with mini-cameras attached; policemen wearing them could snap images of faces, easy to compare with databases of criminals. More authoritarian states love such methods: photos are taken at checkpoints, and images checked against recent participants in protests. In this section

But could such technology soon be used by anyone at all, to identify random passers-by and unearth personal details about them? A study which is to be unveiled on August 4th at Black Hat, a security conference in Las Vegas, suggests that day is close. Its authors, Alessandro Acquisti, Ralph Gross and Fred Stutzman, all at America’s Carnegie Mellon University, ran several experiments that show how three converging technologies are undermining privacy. One is face-recognition software itself, which has improved a lot. The researchers also used “cloud computing” services, which provide lots of cheap processing power. And they went to social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, where most users post real names and photos of themselves.

In their first experiment, the researchers collected images from 5,000 profiles of people on a popular American dating site in a particular city—most of whom used pseudonyms. They fed the pictures into an off-the-shelf face-recognition programme that compared them with 280,000 images they had found by using a search engine to identify Facebook profiles from the same city. They discovered the identity of just over a tenth of the folk from the dating site.

That might not seem a big percentage, but the hit rate will get better as face-recognition software improves and more snaps are uploaded. The researchers did a second experiment: they took webcam photos of 93 students on Carnegie Mellon’s campus, with their assent. These were fed into the face-recognition software along with 250,000 photos gleaned from publicly available profiles on Facebook. About a third of students in the test were identified.

But the most striking result was from a third experiment. By mining public sources, including Facebook profiles and government databases, the researchers could identify at least one personal interest of each student and, in a few cases, the first five digits of a social security number. All this helps to explain concerns over the use of face-recognition software by the likes of Google and Facebook, which have been acquiring firms that specialise in that technology, or licensing software from them. (Google recently snapped up Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition, the firm which owns the programme the researchers used for their tests.) Privacy officials in Europe have said they will scrutinise Facebook’s use of face-recognition software to help people “tag”, or identify, friends in photos they upload. And privacy campaigners in America have made a formal complaint to regulators. (Facebook notes that people can opt out of the photo-tagging service by altering their privacy settings.)

Given the sensitivity, Google decided not to release a face-recognition search engine it had made. Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman, has said it took the decision because “people could use this stuff in a very, very bad way, as well as a good way.” But face-recognition methods may still spread. As Mr Acquisti says, sharing named photos online has “opened the floodgates” to a new, privacy-sapping world. Shutting them will be hard.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anonymous; face; privacy; recognition
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1 posted on 07/29/2011 10:16:16 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

Remember the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine suggested to the David Dinkins aid that all New Yorkers should wear name tags? Technology has fulfilled Elaine’s dream.


2 posted on 07/29/2011 10:20:33 AM PDT by DManA
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To: LibWhacker

BS.

It’s coming, but it’s not here now. False positives and false negatives are way too high.

Still, it is coming. Eventually it will happen.


3 posted on 07/29/2011 10:23:19 AM PDT by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: LibWhacker
"You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it."

- Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, 1/25/99

4 posted on 07/29/2011 10:23:52 AM PDT by FlyVet
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To: LibWhacker
Placing your pic on a PUBLIC social networking site is no different than walking out onto a public sidewalk or street. You have no expectation of privacy regardless of the so-called privacy settings on the site.
5 posted on 07/29/2011 10:26:00 AM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: LibWhacker

When you visit Fresno, CA you are greeted by face recognition cameras at the airport.


6 posted on 07/29/2011 10:27:25 AM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: LibWhacker

I’ve often wondwered why the military won’t come up with weapons that use facial recognition. Imagine a claymore mine with a camera on it being left where an al Qaeda guy might have coffee. It could be planted and left there in the certain knowledge that when the guy finally shows up it’ll get him.


7 posted on 07/29/2011 10:31:32 AM PDT by MeganC (Are you better off than you were four years ago?)
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To: LibWhacker

Face recognition in a crowd

This is the crowd before the riot.

Put your cursor anywhere in the crowd and double-click.

Keep double clicking and see what happens.

This is a great tool for law enforcement

Check this out .... This is the photo taken by Port Moody photographer Ronnie Miranda that appeared in our Tri-City News last Friday (24-June).When you open this up, check the left hand side where you can upsize the photo, and click on the Yellow print “view with GigaTag”.This is actually scary. You can see - perfectly - the faces of every single individual - and there were thousands!Privacy? Just think what the police and the military have at their disposal. http://www.gigapixel.com/image/gigapan-canucks-g7.html


8 posted on 07/29/2011 10:33:40 AM PDT by sanjuanbob (Festina Lente)
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To: DManA
The aircraft silently circling at 5,000 feet above a metropolitan area can be equipped with sensors to acquire adequate imagery of people on the ground and can then downlink the data to a ground based receiver that can incorporate the facial recognition software for identification. Law enforcement agencies will bang the acquired imagery against their data bases of photos of known or wanted criminals. Of course this data can be placed on the Internet as well.

And the people on the ground are totally oblivious to it.

This is happening today!

9 posted on 07/29/2011 10:33:44 AM PDT by B-Cause (The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money - Thatcher)
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To: LibWhacker

Face Recognition: Anonymous no more

You can’t hide — in the city - from anybody.


10 posted on 07/29/2011 10:35:10 AM PDT by flowerplough (Pelosi on Republicans: "They want to destroy food safety, clean air, clean water, ...")
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To: B-Cause
The aircraft silently circling at 5,000 feet above a metropolitan area can be equipped with sensors to acquire adequate imagery of people on the ground

Why? Most major highways in metro areas have been lined with cameras. Most streets in urban areas are lined with cameras. Office buildings and churches (if they care about the folks that go there) have cameras aimed at every door.

11 posted on 07/29/2011 10:40:50 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: sanjuanbob

That is a voyeur’s dream come true!


12 posted on 07/29/2011 10:43:59 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi
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To: Steely Tom

Yeah. The first tyrant who comes along and decides to employ this technology to hunt down and eliminate his opposition, wins.

I’ll probably be tottering down the street someday soon, with the help of my walker, and I’ll hear a SEIU thug yell out, in his unmistakable turd world accent, “THERE’S ONE! A FREEPER! GET HIM!”... POW POW POW POW... and that’ll be the end of old LibWhacker.

Cheers!


13 posted on 07/29/2011 10:45:57 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: B-Cause

We should all start waring veils.


14 posted on 07/29/2011 10:46:08 AM PDT by DManA
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To: PAR35
Why? Most major highways in metro areas have been lined with cameras. Most streets in urban areas are lined with cameras. Office buildings and churches (if they care about the folks that go there) have cameras aimed at every door.





Security for events that bring masses of people together at Olympic events, Professional sporting events, political rallies, etc.
15 posted on 07/29/2011 10:48:02 AM PDT by B-Cause (The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money - Thatcher)
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To: LibWhacker

Does this mean when people use photos of models and claim it is themselves you will be able to scan that photo and get a real name? I see profile pages being scrubbed clean! lol


16 posted on 07/29/2011 10:49:18 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (Going into Rehab means never having to say you are sorry....)
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To: DManA
We should all start waring veils.





Great response. Let's start selling burkas.

17 posted on 07/29/2011 10:51:14 AM PDT by B-Cause (The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money - Thatcher)
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To: B-Cause

They already have cameras there.


18 posted on 07/29/2011 10:51:55 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: sanjuanbob

Oh, yeah, I’ve seen those GigaPix photos before, about a year or two ago before they implemented the GigaTag feature... Amazing! Thx.


19 posted on 07/29/2011 11:00:05 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: PAR35
They already have cameras there.


True, but the plane can be re-positioned quickly and told to concentrate on a given area. In addition, the quality of the sensor's optics far exceeds every visible ground based security camera. Plus thermal imagery is available as well.


20 posted on 07/29/2011 11:01:33 AM PDT by B-Cause (The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money - Thatcher)
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