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Creepy or Cool? Facial Recognition Is on the Rise

BIOMETRICS

November 14, 2011

From digital billboards that target advertising based on the demographics of passersby to an app that scans bars determining the average age and gender of the crowd to Facebook's "Tag Suggestions" feature, facial recognition is looking like the wave of the future, The New York Times reports. While some see the trend as an opportunity to offer and receive relevant information, others are concerned about potentially more intrusive uses of the technology. Carnegie Mellon researchers recently found they could use facial recognition technology combined with publicly available information to determine interests and partial Social Security numbers of some study participants. Regulators worldwide are working on addressing the potential privacy risks, with Hamburg Data Protection Commissioner Johannes Caspar saying, "People should be able to choose if they want to accept these risks or not accept them." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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