The sinister new software that can scan ANY face and ID it from the web in minutes

Facial recognition software has come on in leaps and bounds – but experts warn it raises serious concerns about privacy and fraud.

Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh showed that it’s possible to find out someone’s social security number, used as national ID in America, from their Facebook profile.

Facial recognition software can instantly identify someone by taking a photo as they walk past in the street, and matching that to their Facebook page.

This means it is feasible to reveal someone’s social security number by simply taking a picture of them, according to Amy Webb, CEO of Washington D.C-based digital strategy consulting firm Webbmedia Group.

Face the facts: Facial recognition software could be used to steal someone’s identity, says one expert

To stay safe, it’s likely that users will need to be ever more vigilant about privacy settings on social network sites, as facial recognition software relies on pictures being publicly available.


Ms Webb told Global News: ‘While facial recognition technology is incredibly sophisticated, the failure rate is still high, but if you value your privacy, yes, you should be concerned about face and iris recognition technology.

‘It has become easier to not just see that we’re in a place, but also who we are, where we work and who we’re connected to in real life.

‘It’s good practice to monitor yourself and to ensure that what digital identity information exists about you is information you’re comfortable sharing with the entire world.’

SocialCamera: Let’s you instantly tag photographs to Facebook, using facial recognition technology

Improve the odds: The SceneTap app lets users check how many men and women are at a bar before they go there


Sign into your Facebook account.

Click on Account on the top right of the page and then Privacy Settings on the drop-down menu.

Click on Customise settings.

Scroll down to ‘Suggest photos of me to friends’ and click Edit.

Change setting from Enabled to Disabled and save.

Popular facial recognition apps include SocialCamera, which tells Android phone users which person they’ve photographed is friends with them on Facebook, so they can be instantly tagged.

SceneTap, meanwhile, lets you check how many men and women are at a bar before you go there.

The start-up has installed facial recognition software at the entrances to bars and clubs and keeps a real-time count on the number of men and women there.

Another development being monitored by security experts is Google’s acquisition of PittPatt.

PittPatt is already one of the market-leading facial recognition software companies, so a marriage with Google will mean an even more rapid development of this controversial area of technology.

However, Google assures its users that their identities will be well guarded.

A Google spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We’ve said that we won’t add face recognition to our apps or product features unless we have strong privacy protections in place, and that’s still the case.’
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