Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Face Tells More than a Thousand Posts: Developing Face Recognition Privacy in Social Networks

From the abstract: "What is so special about a face? It is the one personally identifiable feature that we all show in public. Faces are particularly good for identification purposes because, unlike getting a new coat or haircut, significantly altering a face to make it unrecognizable is difficult. But since most people have only a limited set of acquaintances, they can often remain anonymous when doing something personal by themselves — even in public. The use of face recognition technology in social networks shifts this paradigm. It can connect an otherwise anonymous face not only to a name — of which there can be several — but to all the information in a social network profile, including one’s friends, work and education history, status updates, and so forth.

In this Article, I present two central ideas. First, applying the theory of contextual integrity, I argue that the current use face recognition technology in social networks violates users’ privacy by changing the information that they share (from a simple photo to automatically identifying biometric data) and providing this information to new recipients beyond the users’ control. Second, I identify the deficiencies in the current law and argue that law alone cannot solve this problem." Read more