Skip to comments.Face Recognition: Anonymous no more (You canít hide ó from anybody)
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 streetsnot 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 Americas 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 citymost 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 Mellons 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 Facebooks 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.
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.
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.
- Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, 1/25/99
When you visit Fresno, CA you are greeted by face recognition cameras at the airport.
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.
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
And the people on the ground are totally oblivious to it.
Face Recognition: Anonymous no more
You cant hide in the city - from anybody.
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.
That is a voyeur’s dream come true!
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.
We should all start waring veils.
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
They already have cameras there.
Oh, yeah, I’ve seen those GigaPix photos before, about a year or two ago before they implemented the GigaTag feature... Amazing! Thx.
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