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
Syrian rebels consider joining forces with regime troops to fight al-Qa’ida (of course! why not?)
2013 12 04
The old adage to ’love thy enemy’ takes on new meaning with news that the western-backed Syrian Rebels may join forces with Assad-regime troops in order to struggle against al-Qa’ida.
Since 2011 the factions that compose the Free Syrian Army have been clashing with Syrian government troops in civil war ( in also what many have described as a western-backed mercenary ...
Nuclear experts suggest Fukushima consider ‘controlled discharge’ of toxic water into ocean
2013 12 04
Nuke News: An IAEA Director’s rationale in dumping radioactive water into the ocean? - Everybody else is doing it!
More from RT on controlled discharges...
IAEA suggests Fukushima consider ‘controlled discharge’ of toxic water into ocean
The UN nuclear watchdog has advised the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to consider dumping toxic water into the ocean after lowering the ...
Gender-Bending BPA Causes Migraines, Cancer & Infertility
2013 12 04
Researchers at the University of Kansas (UoK) have released a new study regarding bisphenol A (BPA) shows a link between migraines and the chemical.
This report found that BPA causes debilitating headaches in 1 out of 7 persons who ingest the contaminant.
Those who react to BPA with migraines are advised to avoid microwave trays, plastic bottles, canned goods and water coolers.
Is Humanity Declaring Checkmate On The New World Order?
2013 12 04
What is the line between confidence and acknowledgement of victory? Early celebration versus clear vision of how nature will handle a conflict within itself? Is victory and hope truly all imaginary or is there something more to it?
As humanity exponentially wakes up to the plans of the global elite (those in power, the ruling class, the “Illuminati” or whatever you ...
Getting Your News From Hollywood
2013 12 04
Imagine a documentary film about the Holocaust which makes no mention of Nazi Germany.
Imagine a documentary film about the 1965-66 slaughter of as many as a million “communists” in Indonesia which makes no mention of the key role in the killing played by the United States.
But there’s no need to imagine it. It’s been made, and was released this past ...
|More News » |