As ordinary citizens, we know very little about the accuracy of facial recognition softwares. We of course may know that facial recognition is used by the police and security forces to identify criminals. We also may know that a couple of years ago Facebook launched its DeepFace facial recognition technology, which is able to identify individuals with 97% of accuracy. What we don’t often know is that facial recognition technologies can be accessed and used by everyday users. Early this year, a Moscow based company named N-Tech.lab has launched a new online service called FindFace, which allows users to upload photos of individuals and search it through Russia’s most popular social network Vkontakte.
The extension of facial recognition technologies to everyday life implies that we are never anonymous, if we have a social media account or online profile. This was beautifully demonstrated by a young Russian artist Egor Tsvetkov and his project ‘Your Face is Big Data’. Tsvetkov took random pictures of people on the Russian public transport system, and searched for their social media profiles though FindFace. His project is a fascinating, yet terrifying example, of how public our lives through our digital profiles. To find out more check this video by the BBC.com.