New facial recognition software could be spotting you - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

New facial recognition software could be spotting you

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -  What used to look like a Sci-Fi movie is now available in our social networking tools like Facebook, in the form of facial recognition software.  

Until now, most people couldn't hold up their smart phone, look at you, and get a name match. 

This technology is in the hands of the good guys, law enforcement, law enforcement.  The new technology is a combo of software and a small device that attaches to an iphone and allows a law enforcement professional to snap a picture of a face up to 5 feet away and do a name search against criminal databases. 

In some cases, they can do an iris scan to do a search.   

WBTV's cyber expert, Theresa Payton, shares some tips and links to help you understand how this impacts you and your privacy.

ONE HELPFUL TIP:

Social networking sites:  Pay attention to the photos that you identify yourself in and your privacy settings. 

WEB RESOURCES:

FACEBOOK USERS:  Check Facebook in the Privacy Settings under https://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=privacy&ref=mb and look at "How Tags Work", Choose "Edit" Settings and decide how much privacy you want

ORGANIZATIONS YOU CAN TRACK FOR MORE INFORMATION OR FILE A COMPLAINT:

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION: The FTC is holding a conference later this year.  They have posted information regarding what they will cover, including the privacy implications of facial recognition technology, at:  http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/09/facialrec.shtm or you can email facefacts@ftc.gov.

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU:  http://www.bbb.org/

ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION:  http://www.eff.org/

PRIVACY RIGHTS CLEARINGHOUSE:  https://www.privacyrights.org/

WORD OF THE WEEK:

MICROCELL:  A nickname for technology that can create a mini cellular tower in your home or office.  Sick and tired of having to step outside for good cellphone reception?  A microcell from your favorite telephone services provider may have a product for you! 

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