Your face can reveal your social security number !

By Ravi
Aug 3rd, 2011

I will see your face and will know your most privatesocial security number— This ain’t a threat but a possibility in the future.

A study which combined cloud computing, facial recognition and public information from social networking sites claims that it is possible to gain identity and personal information of any stranger with this technology.

This study led by Alessandro Acquisti from Carnegie Mellon University, will be presented in the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas on August 4, 2011. The team used these technologies in three experiments. In first one, they were able to identify members of an online dating site where members do not use their real names for identification.

The second experiment allowed the team to identify college students in real life walking on campus based solely on their face and information gathered online. In the third experiment, the team used the technology to predict personal interests and identify students, including some social security numbers, starting with a face photo of them.

While all the attention is to secure the cyberspace , this technology makes it a possibility to use cyberspace to identify real life private information. The team developed a smartphone application that displays a person’s information over it’s facial image after collecting the data using this technique.

Earlier in 2009, Acquisti mentioned that social security numbers are a security flaw as they can be predicted if home town and date of birth is known. This technology uses the same information and in many cases can determine the a person’s security number.

It’s good that Google has not yet allowed facial recognition for search and Facebook has limited the photo tagging based on facial recognition to your friends only. Still you need to take a caution when you share your next information or photo on any social networking site.

About the Author

- Co-Founder of IdleBrains. Software engineer by profession, a poet at heart and tech writer by passion. Loves sweet music and cricket. Admirer and follower of Sachin Tendulkar. Follows his hobbies as “TheGhost”. Visit the poet here.

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