Worried about privacy on the Internet? It may be even worse than you thought — with rapidly improving face recognition technology, your automatically tagged Facebook pictures could help a stranger, or the authorities, quickly identify you on the street.
A simple system that compares Facebook pictures and webcam snapshots can make a positive match after less than three seconds, according to Carnegie Mellon University researchers. Alessandro Acquisti and colleagues presented their findings at the Black Hat computer security conference in Las Vegas.“A stranger could know your last tweet just by looking at you,” Acquisti told CNET’s privacy blog.
The system was able to correlate Facebook profile pictures to webcam shots, and to otherwise anonymous photos on a dating website. The Facebook-webcam system identified about 31 percent of users, and only 10 percent of the dating site users, but the message was clear — anonymity is becoming harder and harder to maintain.