Polar Rose Photo Privacy And Surveillance Concerns

Polar Rose, a unique search engine for faces, is no stranger to Technovelgy readers (see the Polar Rose Face-Recognition Search Engine article from several months ago). After the mainstream media finally discovered this interesting web application, a number of privacy concerns surfaced (not to mention the various concerns and suggestions mentioned in the Polar Rose reader comments).


(2D to 3D translation aids face recognition)

Many readers expressed concern that photos that were posted to the public Internet have been seen by their owners as "private" due to the principle of "security by obscurity." In other words, there are about 100 million MySpace pages; what are the odds that someone will see my picture? With Polar Rose, any photo on the Internet will be searchable.

Polar Rose has this to say:

By sorting the text web, these search engines exposed the wonderful resource of public documents that web had already become. The side-effect was that information which was not meant for public consumption, but which was kept private by obscurity, was suddenly exposed and searchable.

Polar Rose urges users to use the usual methods to make sure that private photos are kept private in the usual ways, learned from lessons by the search engines:

  • Polar Rose will not index private photos; photos behind a firewall, login, or on a userís desktop computer.
  • Polar Rose honors robots.txt and subsequent requests by a site owner to remove photos from our database.
  • Polar Rose will never engage Polar Rose in the application of the technology in security or surveillance. (This provision is explicitly stated in the contracts they have with partners.)
This final point addresses serious concerns by privacy advocates that Polar Rose will allow governments or private firms the ability to search the Internet for visual information about people. Consider what would happen if, for example, a private insurance agency decided to search for an applicant, and found pictures in which the applicant had been photographed at a club that could be connected to risky lifestyles. It's still not clear that a company could not use Polar Rose in that way.

Take a look at the blog entry On Privacy and Polar Rose on the Polar Rose website.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/20/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Surveillance ")

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.

China's Drone Fleet Flies In Formation
'Programmed to hang... in a hexagonal grid pattern.' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.

RFID Chipped Employees Of Three Square Market
'About a third of the people in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip...' - John Twelve Hawks, 2015.

SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...' - Manly Wade Wellman, 1938.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

A 'Genuine Nanorobotic Production Factory'
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully - constructing something...'

Neuromorphic Computer Offers Non-von Neumann Architecture
Fires faster than brain at 1/10K energy.

Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant
'...the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'

Mealworms Food Of The Future
Get your grubs on.

Alibaba's AI May Read Better Than You
'Mike ... could accept other languages and was doing technical translating - and reading endlessly.'

Musk's Boring Flamethrower
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'

Humanity Star LEO Advertisement?
'Everyone has noticed those enormous advertisements...'

Nissan ProPILOT Slippers Are Self-Parking, Autonomous
Beyond science and fiction.

Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
'I could almost feel those little tunnel junction neuristors working, forming their own interconnections as I operated it.'

Bigelow Prepares Inflatable Lunar Hotel
'Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations.'

Drunk Driver Of Tesla Claims Autopilot Was In Charge
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive.'

Medical Exoskeleton From Cyberdyne Gets FDA Approval
It's been a long road for HAL-5; I started writing about it in 2005.

Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'

Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'

NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.