Facial recognition technology creates privacy headaches for agencies

Feds are wrestling with how to deal with facial recognition technology as it becomes more accurate, cheaper, and able to cross-check images on social networking and dating sites, writes Aliya Sternstein on NextGov.com.

While law enforcement agencies experiment with matching images of unknown persons with photos posted on the Internet, the Federal Trade Commission held a December workshop to discuss privacy ramifications. Carnegie Mellon University Professor Alessandro Acquisti demonstrated how to identify strangers using webcams, off-the-shelf facial recognition software and data from social networks.

"Perhaps more disconcerting, Acquisti's research shows that the biographical information gleaned from using facial recognition on social sites combined with computerized pattern analysis, or data mining, could point to a person's Social Security number," Sternstein writes.

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