In a report from the WSJ, a new study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh used facial-recognition technology in combination with data from Facebook accounts to successfully identify one-third of volunteer participants.
In the study, researchers used PittPatt software and a webcam to snap photos of volunteers who would later be identified via their publicly available Facebook profile pictures. Raising considerable security and privacy concerns, however, was the fact Professor Acquisti was also able to correctly predict the first five digits of a participant’s Social Security number in approximately 27% of cases (those are determined where you are born and when).
Should you be worried? Not if you trust Google’s stance on privacy… Addressing the privacy concerns highlighted by the study, a Google spokesperson told WSJ:
“We’ve said that we won’t add face recognition to our apps or product features unless we have strong privacy protections in place, and that’s still the case”
Google recently acquired the facial-recognition technology and will more than likely be integrating it into various Google products including Google+ and Google Goggles. A Google spokesperson had this to say about the acquisition:
“The Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition team has developed innovative technology in the area of pattern recognition and computer vision. We think their research and technology can benefit our users in many ways, and we look forward to working with them.”
- Google acquires PittPatt face recognition software (9to5google.com)