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
The Aeon of Horus is Ending and the Elites are Nervous as their Icons are Dying
2014 04 18
I predict there is going to be a huge resurgence of interest in European indigenous spiritual traditions from Norse to Celtic/Gaelic to Slavic and so on. Millions of Europeans are going to realise that we are the victims of Christianity and New Age garbage. Their bastardised Kabbalah, the psychic force used by Crowley and the elites to cement his Aeon ...
Easter - Christian or Pagan?
2014 04 18
Contrary to popular belief, Easter does not represent the "historical" crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In reality, the gospel tale reflects the annual "crossification" of the sun through the vernal equinox (Spring), at which time the sun is "resurrected," as the day begins to become longer than the night.
Rather than being a "Christian" holiday, Easter celebrations date back ...
Man-Made Blood Might Be Used in Transfusions by 2016
2014 04 18
Researchers in the U.K. have created the first man-made red blood cells of high enough quality to be introduced into the human body
The premise of the HBO show and book series True Blood revolves around a technological breakthrough: scientists figure out how to synthesize artificial human blood, which, as an ample new source of non-human food, allows vampires to "come ...
The Trials of the Cherokee Were Reflected In Their Skulls
2014 04 18
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee have found that environmental stressors – from the Trail of Tears to the Civil War – led to significant changes in the shape of skulls in the eastern and western bands of the Cherokee people.
The findings highlight the role of environmental factors in shaping our physical characteristics.
Our Fears May Be Shaped by Ancestral Trauma
2014 04 18
Last December, an unsettling Nature Neuroscience study found that mice who were taught to associate the smell of cherry blossoms with pain produced offspring who feared the smell of cherry blossoms, even if they had never been exposed to it before. We knew that the process was epigenetic—that it was not hard-wired in the permanent genetic structure of the mouse—but ...
|More News » |