Facial recognition tech is rocketing ahead of laws that can control it
2012 07 24
By Casey Johnston | ARSTechnica.com
"Many Americans don’t realize they’re already in a facial recognition database," Jennifer Lynch, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Wednesday in a hearing on the technology. Addressing Senator Al Franken and the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, Lynch pointed out that there is a painful disconnect between how little personal action is required to capture a face and how much personal information can be associated with it. All that, thanks to the Internet. As it is, Lynch said, "Americans can’t take precautions to prevent the collection of their image."
Senator Franken called the hearing out of concern for the speed at which facial recognition technology is progressing as its use remains unregulated. Dr. Alessandro Acquisti, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said facial recognition could soon become a casual pursuit as computers get smaller, more powerful, and cloud computing costs come down. "Within a few years, real-time, automated, mass-scale facial recognition will be technologically feasible and economically efficient," Acquisti wrote in a statement; for companies, for friends, and for law enforcement.
Facial recognition has two characteristics that alarmed most members of the panel. First, faces (unlike other common information gatekeepers like passwords or PIN numbers) can’t be changed for protection. Second, neither permission nor interaction is required for one person to capture the face of another. If they’re in public, their visage is fair game. Facial recognition "creates acute privacy concerns that fingerprints do not" because of the ease of collection, Franken said.
But facial recognition itself is less of a concern than the supplementary data that drives it. Several panelists described scary and intrusive applications of facial recognition: a random person takes a photo of another and an app pulls up their address and the names of family and friends; a camera in a pharmacy recognizes your face and asks loudly whether you need more Imodium—and here’s a dollar-off coupon toward your purchase. "It’s the aggregation that frightens people," said Dr. Nita Farahany, a professor at the Duke University School of Law. "We don’t stop the flow of information, or say certain applications are limited or permissible."
Representing the aggregation-happy end of the facial recognition spectrum was Rob Sherman, a privacy manager for Facebook. Franken took Facebook to task for its use of facial recognition, used in its "Suggested Tags" for photos. Franken pointed out that the page explaining the feature made no mention of the fact that it uses facial recognition technology, and that information was buried six clicks deeper in the Help Center. Franken asked Sherman if his reading of the Learn More and Help sections were correct. "I’m not sure about clicks," Sherman said.
"And you’re the head of this?" Franken said.
Read the full article at: arstechnica.com
Is Facebook’s facial recognition tool as creepy as it seems?
Facebook may have just surpassed itself in the creep-stakes. On Tuesday, security firm Sophos issued an alert that Facebook has been activating facial recognition technology on accounts without fully informing users.
Around 100 million photos are tagged on Facebook every day and the more often you are tagged the better the facial recognition technology learns your face. And although privacy settings can be altered to opt out of the Tag Suggestion tool, according to Business Insider, Facebook will still learn your face anyway (it just won’t suggest it to your friends for tagging).
The notion that we may have unwittingly been contributing to a vast database learning to recognize our faces with more and more accuracy feels creepy, but it is worth considering what dangers are actually implied.
Just last week, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed that a facial recognition tool was the one piece of technology Google developed but then stopped short of implementing because it was considered too dangerous.
Face The Truth: Facebook Acquires ’Largest, Most Accurate’ Facial Recognition Software
Can You Trust YouTube’s ’Dissident Protecting’ Face-Blurring Tool?
Facial recognition system - Wikipedia
Privacy lawyer questions police access to facial recognition tech to help identify rioters
Coke and Facebook’s Facial Profiling App
Interpol Details Plans For Global Biometric Facial Scan Database
Loss of Privacy.com
They Know You Aren’t Actually Reading All Those Privacy Policies
Mind Reading Technology - No More Thought Privacy
Latest News from our Front Page
Sand Pirates: ISIS Are America’s 21st Century Terrorist Privateers
2014 11 01
What is ISIS? If you believe govt and corporate propaganda, you still think that ISIS is a grassroots Islamic ideological movement ¨C and with no connection to intelligence agencies like America¡¯s CIA, Britain¡¯s MI6, Turkish (NATO) intelligence, Saudi intelligence, Israeli intelligence, or Pakistan¡¯s ISI.
The reality of ISIS is something altogether different¡
On closer inspection, these marauding paramilitary ISIS gangs are nothing ...
Ancient Stone Circles in Mideast Baffle Archaeologists
2014 11 01
Huge stone circles in the Middle East have been imaged from above, revealing details of structures that have been shrouded in mystery for decades.
The Big Circle called J1 is about 390 meters (1,280 feet) in diameter, with an open area created by bulldozing in its interior.
Credit: David L. Kennedy, copyright is retained by the Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology ...
Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm.
The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation"
The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola.
The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head
TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
|More News » |