‘Faceless Recognition System’ Can See You Even When You Hide Your Face

The researchers' system, which they call the Faceless Recognition System, trains a neural network on a set of photos containing both obscured and visible faces, then uses that knowledge to predict the identity of obscured faces by looking for similarities in the area around a person's head and body.

With widespread adoption among law enforcement, advertisers, and even churches, face recognition has undoubtedly become one of the biggest threats to privacy out there.

By itself, the ability to instantly identify anyone just by seeing their face already creates massive power imbalances, with serious implications for free speech and political protest. But more recently, researchers have demonstrated that even when faces are blurred or otherwise obscured, algorithms can be trained to identify people by matching previously-observed patterns around their head and body.

In a new paper uploaded to the ArXiv pre-print server, researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Saarbrücken, Germany demonstrate a method of identifying individuals even when most of their photos are untagged or obscured. The researchers’ system, which they call the Faceless Recognition System, trains a neural network on a set of photos containing both obscured and visible faces, then uses that knowledge to predict the identity of obscured faces by looking for similarities in the area around a person’s head and body.

The accuracy of the system varies depending on how many visible faces are available in the photo set. Even when there are only 1.25 instances of the individual’s fully-visible face, the system can identify an obscured faced with 69.6 percent accuracy; if there are 10 instances of an individual’s visible face, it increases to as high as 91.5 percent.

In other words, even if you made sure to obscure your face in most of your Instagram photos, the system would have a decent chance identifying you as long as there are one or two where your face is fully visible.

It turns out this becomes a lot harder to do using sets of photos from “across events,” or when factors like illumination and the person’s clothing have changed. The researchers found that when identifying faces obscured by black squares across events, the system’s performance drops dramatically from 47.4 percent to 14.7 percent—but even that is three times more accurate than the “naive” method of identifying obscured faces through blind prediction, the researchers note.

Minority Report technology now being implemented across the globe:

When this movie was made in 2002, it was largely a fantasy. Today the technology talked about in the film is a multi-billion dollar global business and one of the fastest-growing sectors anywhere in the world. Everybody runs.

In the past, Facebook has shown its face recognition algorithms can predict the identity of users when they obscure their face with 83% accuracy, using cues such as their stance and body type. But the researchers say their system is the first to do so using a trainable system that uses a full range of body cues surrounding blurred and blacked-out faces.

“From a privacy perspective, the results presented here should raise concern,” the researchers write. “It is very probable that undisclosed systems similar to the ones described here already operate online. We believe it is the responsibility of the computer vision community to quantify, and disseminate the privacy implications of the images users share online.” source

NTEB is run by end times author and editor-in-chief Geoffrey Grider. Geoffrey runs a successful web design company, and is a full-time minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to running NOW THE END BEGINS, he has a dynamic street preaching outreach and tract ministry team in Saint Augustine, FL.

  • Rudy Ray

    Just one more reason I don’t use any form of social media.

    • Rudy Ray

      reason WHY I don’t

    • Do you use an automobile? All cars made after 1999 have up to 30 tracking chips built inside of them. Do you have a cell phone? You really cannot get away from it.

      • 01e1ngvar

        Even if you pull off battery from the cell phone – THEY will know, where you are 😀 .

  • That is the reason The Lord Jesus comes back to rescue the Bride! Every earth dweller will be subject to the antichrist and there will be no escape, except through death. The tribulation saints will make the decision for Christ, and be beheaded. Revelation 20:4.
    We are so close, Jesus said, “Occupy until I come.” He is coming soon. Trust Him!

  • Elijah

    Have you ever wondered why ISIS wears masks? In the middle of a hot dessert? Did you ever stop to wonder if there were white faces under some of those masks? Maybe someone Hillary hired? Maybe someone that these systems could recognize…

  • carson

    remember the old game pin the tail on the donkey?
    any tail would do just get it pasted on the donkey and call it good.

  • 01e1ngvar

    Here, in Ukraine, such things won’t be installed for a long time (I think). So welcome here, if what 😀 .

  • Ron

    Interesting timing for your Article Geoffrey!

    I had to go get a new pair of glasses and an eye exam.

    Then the weird part was presented to me which made me highly suspicious.

    They said my insurance would cover everything ( and I over heard this with all the others who came in ) except for a

    picture of my retina for $29.

    I then thought what is the purpose of the retinal picture since no explanation was given except it would cost me $29.

    Then it hit me they are taking pictures of your retina ( if you paid them for it ) for the government and that is their fee for doing it for them.

    Well I don’t $29 to waste like that and I thought why pay them for something they want from me.

    Yep they are trying to get all your personal info, and the latest one I noticed is now is the credit card companies are trying to expand

    the personal questions from what they have asked in the past and to me it is very intrusive and quite frankly none of their business.

    The questions they started with are more than sufficient for security purposes, and they want more, no way and besides these companies

    can’t keep your Credit Card data safe and they ask all these other questions no way at all!


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