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Could This Be the Future of Background Checking?

A new study from Carnegie Mellon University showed that current technology can cross reference a person’s face with currently available photos on the Web (such as Facebook) and find out information about that person, including their interests — and in some cases their social security numbers. Simply snapping a photo of a complete stranger on a cell phone, could enable you to learn more about them than you would in causal conversation. While CMU researchers were able to effectively use face recognition technology or “offline to online recognition” to accomplish this, they did so for only one-third of their test subjects. Entirely successful or not, this study demonstrates the fast approaching and inevitable capabilities of technology. The author of this article, Clayton Morris, suggests we protect ourselves from a not so far away world where personal boundaries and anonymity cease to exist. “The less sensitive information you put on the Internet, the less sensitive information someone can find out about you.”

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