Saturday, August 6, 2011

Profile Pics on Social Media Sites Pose Privacy Risk

Facial recognition tech makes it easier to combine offline, online identities

(Computerworld) - LAS VEGAS -- Imagine walking down a street and having a total stranger being able to instantly pull up your name, date of birth, Social Security number, your last blog item and other data on their smart phone.

That could soon happen, said Alessandro Acquisti, associate professor of IT and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College.

In a presentation at the Black Hat conference here this week, Acquisti demonstrated how it's becoming easier for strangers to identify people and infer detailed information about them from their publicly available images on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

The trend has "ominous implications for privacy," Acquisti said. "I'm here to raise awareness of what I feel is going to happen." (Read more)