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 » Computer Tricks And Technology Tips » Technology News And Tips » 

Russian Photographer Tracked Down People through Facial Recognition App

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It turned out to be very easy to identify strangers on social media if you use facial recognition app. A Russian photographer has just proved this in practice. Egor Tsvetkov took pictures of strangers in St Petersburg’s subway and used facial recognition software which scans through profiles on VK (VKontakte), Russia’s biggest social network, in the attempt to track down their online profiles.
He named his series of photographs “Your Face is Big Data”, since it demonstrates the abilities of the powerful facial recognition software: indeed, today a complete stranger can find you at the mouse click.

Egor explained that his project aimed to show how technology can affect privacy, especially if you are too lazy to activate the relevant settings on your social media profiles. The photographer said that none of people in subway noticed that he photographed them, though he used a regular camera and didn’t try to hide it. After he released the project, one girl texted him and said that it was a bad feeling when she saw herself. However, she had to admit that she fully understood Egor’s idea.

The photographer added that the project had revealed the difference between the persona people present on the Internet and in real life. Egor used the app called FindFace, which was developed by the Moscow-based firm N-Tech.Lab. This piece of software was launched in February 2016 and trawls through millions of profiles on Russian Facebook to find the requested person within seconds. Egor emphasized just how well this app works: if you run some of his photos through the website, the profiles of most of his subjects will be easy to locate. This approach deprives people of the right to anonymity.

In should be mentioned that facial recognition software has already proved problematic for Facebook: 5 years ago, the company’s commitment to privacy was questioned when the social network turned on facial recognition software to automatically identify people in pictures. In Germany, it went as far as to threaten Facebook with legal action for violating privacy laws.

At the moment, it is impossible to trawl through Facebook using facial recognition. Nor there is any western equivalent of FindFace
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