The real-time scanning of cell phones pictures would never be misused would it.

One of the touchiest subjects when it comes to technology has to be facial recognition and its use, both good and bad. We have all heard about how all the major tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have been wrestling with the ethics of implementing facial recognition within their various projects but governments around the world have no compunctions against using it for protecting their citizens.

Now researchers have discovered a way to search images on cellphones and based on the results from that search they can then target phones around the successful search result.

To be fair now being able to do this requires an app to be installed on the phones and permission must be granted by the cellphone owner for the phones image directories to be able to be searched; but really given how easy it is to get people to install apps without really understanding the consequences how long before a version that doesn’t need permission gets installed?

The software, which was created by researchers at Rice University, and goes by the innocently sounding name: Theia, and even though the researchers believe that they have built in good enough safeguards the fact is it probably wouldn’t take much to circumvent these safeguards and turn your phone into part of a network that could be used to spy on our fellow citizens.

I don’t know about you but I don’t need a tinfoil hat to be worried about how this technology could end up being used in ways it wasn’t intended to be used.

via Geekosystem