Facial recognition software meets school yearbooks

We confess that we were big fans of the TV show Alias. Also, the British mini-series The Prisoner. And we’re too afraid to go back into the literature archives to read Big Brother when the reality show is haunting enough. So, we might be a little bit prone to feeling spooked out and suspicious about spy things.

That said, being able to connect someone’s photo to their Facebook profile within three seconds using facial recognition software has scary implications. Allessandro Acquisti at Carnagie Melon University has done this using currently available technology.

What does that mean for yearbook photos? It means that anyone with this technology and a school yearbook can locate students online and know a lot about them. Any government or spy agency can target youth or their families. Likely? We highly doubt it. (Even though that’s totally what happened on Alias, so keep that in mind, wink.) But it’s far less likely that our own government would target us. So, perhaps this technology is all the more reason to be FIPPA compliant and not print yearbooks in China, when they have been hacking into our government, or in the US, the birth place of horrifically scary reality shows.


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