We all love our Snapchat and Instagram filters that put on puppy ears or rainbow eyes, but is the facial recognition software used in these apps a threat to modern security? New sources say yes, as a new, open-source tool has been developed to be able to trace back people with only a name or a picture.
This program, called Social Mapper, takes the facial scans that occur on platforms such as Snapchat, and can use that data to compile a spreadsheet of all of your profiles and account names across the entire internet. Previously, all facial mapping had to be done through manual input, but Social Mapper makes it so that the process can be done automatically, meaning faster, targeted attacks and phishing scams can be done by hackers.
Similar concerns have been raised through Facebook’s facial recognition technology. The company, however, brands their ability to recognize faces in pictures so it becomes harder for fake profiles to use your image. The concern, however, is how far Facebook could go by selling this data to advertisers, as they do have plans to monetize their facial recognition patents.
Lastly, facial recognition is making its way into the crime world as well, helping law enforcement track down potential suspects. There’s been a ton of backlash to this news, as it potentially infringes on the privacy and civil rights of the general public. We have to collectively weight the pros of being able to track down wanted criminals and missing persons with the con that the government has access to all of our faces digitally recognizable on one server.