Q. Face recognition has been around for a long while, and Web 2.0 companies have deployed it in their tools/applications. What is new about this study?
Indeed, in recent times, Google has acquired Neven Vision, Riya, and PittPatt and deployed face recognition into Picasa. Apple has acquired Polar Rose, and deployed face recognition into iPhoto. Facebook has licensed Face.com to enable automated tagging. So far, however, these end-user Web 2.0 applications are limited in scope: They are constrained by, and within, the boundaries of the service in which they are deployed. Our focus, however, was on examining whether the convergence of publicly available Web 2.0 data, cheap cloud computing, #data mining, and off-the-shelf face #recognition is bringing us closer to a world where anyone may run #face_recognition on anyone else, online and offline - and then infer additional, sensitive data about the target subject, starting merely from one anonymous piece of information about her: the face.