Some people never forget a face and the same, it seems, can be said for the internet. With some off-the-shelf facial recognition software, a connection to the cloud and access to social networking data, Carnegie Mellon University researchers have proved tagging can be the everyman’s gateway to privacy violation. Using a specially-designed, AR-capable mobile app, Prof. Alessandro Acquisti and his team conducted three real-world trials of the personal info mining tech, successfully identifying pseudonymed online daters and campus strolling college students via Facebook. In some cases, the application was even able to dredge up the students’ social security digits and personal interests — from their MySpace pages, we assume. Sure, the study’s findings could have you running for the off-the-grid hills (not to mention the plastic surgeon), but it’s probably best you just pay careful attention to that digital second life.
If only someone predicted this in 2009. If only.