Face recognition App FindFace is a privacy nightmare

New Face recognition  Android App called FindFace can identify a face in a crowd

A new face recognition App which is available on Google Play and developed by Russian developers is taking Russia by storm. The App called FindFace allows you to snap a photo of someone on the street and connect them to their online presence on social networks and government sites. It also works with crowds and has an overall reliability of 70%.

The App has quickly become popular and has clocked 500,000 downloads so far. According to Guardian, the app’s servers have processed more than 3 million requests in that time as FindFace matches users using Vkontakte’s database, a very popular social network in Russia and the Eastern European countries.

Trinity Digital, the App developer says that it is building its database so that in future users can instantly know who anyone on the street is and what their interests are. The app is able to work on crowded subways and public places, so that future may not be far off.

Unlike other face recognition technology, their algorithm allows quick searches in big data sets. “Three million searches in a database of nearly 1bn photographs: that’s hundreds of trillions of comparisons, and all on four normal servers. With this algorithm, you can search through a billion photographs in less than a second from a normal computer,” Kabakov told Guardian

However, the App raises scary questions if you are a privacy lover. It could also be used by police and government authorities for surveillance. Privacy activists says that FindFace has the potential of destroying public anonymity and putting lots of people at risk. It remains to be seen whether FindFace remains just a casual face recognition app or is used for more sinister things in days to come.

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