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Russian Photographer’s Experiment Destroys the Illusion of Privacy

Russian photographer and art student Egor Tsvetkov used his own photos and a facial recognition app to destroy any illusion of privacy we might have with his latest project “Your Face is Big Data.” 

First, he took photos of about 100 strangers on the subway. 

“The people did not react in any way,” said Egor, “although I was quite obviously photographing them.” 

Then came the main step. He put his photos into an app called FindFace to see if it could identify the people he had taken pictures of on Russia’s main social media site VKontakte. Long story short: the app did VERY well. He was easily able to identify 70% of the people he photographed, even though many of them looked (or at least their expressions looked) vastly different on the subway than in their social media profile pictures. 

The message Egor is trying to convey is simple: “My project is a clear illustration of the future that awaits us if we continue to disclose as much about ourselves on the internet as we do now.” 

Fun fact: the security forces have been able to do this for years. #Hate it!

The vampire looked from the golem to Vimes.
“You gave one of them a voice?” he said.
“Yes,” said Dorfl. He reached down and picked up the vampire in one hand. “I Could Kill You,” he said. “This Is An Option Available To Me As A Free-Thinking Individual But I Will Not Do So Because I Own Myself And I Have Made A Moral Choice.”
“Oh, gods,” murmured Vimes under his breath.
“That’s blasphemy,” said the vampire.
He gasped as Vimes shot him a glance like sunlight. “That’s what people say when the voiceless speak.”

– Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay