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Software that spills info just by seeing your pic

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - 12:21

London: A software that can access a wealth of personal information just by reading the picture of your face has been developed by researchers.

Alessandro Acquisti and colleagues used PittPatt facial recognition software - which was developed at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and recently bought by Google - to match people with their Facebook profiles and gather names, birth dates and other demographics for one in three test subjects.

The researchers then used this data to correctly predict the first five digits of the subjects`` Social Security number. In principle it should be possible to identify the full number, but the sample size of 93 was too small to do this accurately.

“It``s like a domino effect,” New Scientist quoted Acquisti as saying.

“It has become truly difficult for us to tightly seal our personal information,” added Acquisti.

The study will be presented at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas this week.


First Published: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - 12:21
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