Sunday, June 16, 2024

Your Face — and the Web — Can Tell Everything About You

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MSNBC: At the DefCon hacker convention, Carnegie Mellon University researcher Alessandro Acquisti demonstrated how he could use a mobile phone to take pictures of strangers and then use facial recognition software and Facebook to determine people’s names, friends and even their social security numbers. “If we were able to do it, anyone is able to do it,” Acquisti said. “The goal here is not to generate fear, but we are very close to a point where the convergence of technologies will make it possible for online and offline data to blend seamlessly … and for strangers on the street to predict certain information about you from your picture.”

The technology poses obvious privacy concerns. “We used to feel we were safe in a crowd,” Acquisti said. “What concerns me most is what our brains tell us about being private in a large group like that. We think we can stay anonymous, but now, I don’t think we can.”

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