60 Minutes: What Is A Face Print? FaceDeals Review & Online Privacy


60 Minutes: Facial Recognition

In just the past decade, facial recognition has become much faster, cheaper, and more accurate. But according to Lesley Stahl, this ubiquitous software did not help to crack the Boston bombing case in 2013. It could be that government data banks are not deep enough, but in the private sector, this type of tool is thriving. Did you know that you have a face print?

60 Minutes: Carnegie Mellon Cylab Face Recognition

In the Carnegie Mellon Cylab, Marios Savvides and students showed off a robot prototype that does the innovative work of identifying blurry, partially covered, or fully visible faces. It maps faces using dots to create individualized “face prints.”


You can also use facial recognition at home in advanced TVs, mobile devices, and more. It can also identify you without your knowledge in public spaces. According to Joseph Atick, a scientist on the forefront of this technology.

60 Minutes: Is Minority Report Real?

A turning point for him is when an early prototype decades ago recognized his presence in the room. But could his discoveries be out of control? Think Minority Report, where Tom Cruise’s character is given personalized ads that call him out by name.

Intel is just one company experimenting with digital billboards for retail that can determine a shopper’s age and gender before customizing an ad for him or her in the mall. Even mannequins could be spying on you!


The eyes in your mannequin could be profiling you and your habits while you shop, to see what is working in stores. “Big Brother is big business,” Atick said of these developments. While there are rules governing the use of this technology by the government or law enforcement, it’s an open market for the world of commerce.

60 Minutes: What Is A Face Print?

60 Minutes: What Is A Face Print? FaceDeals Review & Online Privacy

Marketing companies use images of faces compiled from social networking sites to identify customers and target messages to them based on face recognition.

In Europe, companies are required to get consent from shoppers before obtaining face prints, but the US is behind on legislating this area. But large online companies are compiling data from photos tagged of you on Facebook; Google and Apple are also in on this.

Atick said that your face print should be under your control, like personal financial information, for example. He said that there is a potential here for information such as your social networking profiles and even shopping history to be connected to your face print; gone will be the days of anonymity, even on the street.

“The link between the online and offline persona is becoming possible,” he warned.

60 Minutes: FaceDeals Review

What can you do in a world where surveillance cameras are around every corner? Some artists have responded with designs that disrupt the algorithms that create face prints, helping them to avoid recognition.

Could masks or veils become our future when we are out shopping? Online marketers want to take their personalized tactics offline and into the real world.

David McMullen of Nashville marketing company Redpepper, is behind the app FaceDeals, which can offer customized coupons to you based on your shopping history and social profiles, such as Facebook likes.

60 Minutes: Online Privacy & Face Searches

Even if you don’t opt in to an app such as FaceDeals, McMullen said your privacy is already compromised by the GPS signal from your cell phone and anytime you use a credit card. His app, he says, is just a way to get something in return.

Carnegie Mellon professor Alessandro Acquisti said that it’s getting harder to be anonymous in this modern era, and he showed how face searches could become as commonplace as any other type of Internet search.

To demonstrate this scary stuff, he ran photos of students from around the school’s campus through a free facial recognition software program, which returned results with their personal information, including social networking profiles and even social security numbers.

60 Minutes: FBI Criminal Photo Database

To show up in these results, you have to have a photo of yourself online, with your name attached to it. But even if you don’t have Facebook, your family or friends could be putting your image out there and getting it into these types of databases.

The FBI is working to build up its own banks of biometric data, at a cost of over $1 billion. This information will help police and law enforcement to identify suspects. The database is expected to be in use in 2014.

After years of collecting photos and fingerprints of suspects, this is the first real time national criminal search database ever to come online. But a fear of legal challenges has prevented the government from compiling photographs from LinkedIn and other online sources.

60 Minutes: Face Search Results

The next time you think about liking something on Facebook or perform a Google search, just think that this is being compiled into a database about you and your habits. “The idea that you can start from a face and predict Social Security numbers from a face seemed quite surprising, but now we know that it can be done,” Acquisti said.

BRB. I’m just going to go delete my Facebook profile. What do you think about the future of this technology in our everyday lives?


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