《经济学人》:面部识别,你还想匿名吗?
日期:2011-08-01 11:19

(单词翻译:单击)

Face recognition
面部识别

Anonymous no more
你还想匿名吗?

You can’t hide—from anybody
都在看着你呢!

Jul 30th 2011 | SAN FRANCISCO | from the print edition

IF YOUR face and name are anywhere on the web, you may be recognised whenever you walk the streets—not just by cops but by any geek with a computer. That seems to be the conclusion from some new research on the limits of privacy.

如果网上有你的头像和名字,说不定哪一天,你正在大街行走,一眼就会被人认出,这里说的不是警察,而是电脑高手。这大概就是关于隐私范围的新研究得出的结论。

For suspected miscreants, and people chasing them, face-recognition technology is old hat. Brazil, preparing for the soccer World Cup in 2014, is already trying out pairs of glasses with mini-cameras attached; policemen wearing them could snap images of faces, easy to compare with databases of criminals. More authoritarian states love such methods: photos are taken at checkpoints, and images checked against recent participants in protests.

对于那些罪大恶极的嫌犯以及一心想要将他们绳之以法的警察,面部识别技术早已不是什么新鲜物。2014年足球世界杯主办国巴西已在试制装有迷你摄像机的眼镜,警察戴上这种眼镜可以快速拍摄众多的面部肖像,便于同数据库中的罪犯进行比对。很多专制国家对这种技术也比较青睐,他们可以在一些关卡进行摄像,还可以用以比照最近参加抗议者的肖像。

But could such technology soon be used by anyone at all, to identify random passers-by and unearth personal details about them? A study which is to be unveiled on August 4th at Black Hat, a security conference in Las Vegas, suggests that day is close. Its authors, Alessandro Acquisti, Ralph Gross and Fred Stutzman, all at America’s Carnegie Mellon University, ran several experiments that show how three converging technologies are undermining privacy. One is face-recognition software itself, which has improved a lot. The researchers also used “cloud computing” services, which provide lots of cheap processing power. And they went to social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, where most users post real names and photos of themselves.

可是,这种技术是否不久就可应用于寻常人家,用以识别任意的过路人并挖掘出个人详细情况? 8月4日将在拉斯维加斯举行黑帽安全会议,会议将公开一项研究,根据这份研究,这一天已为期不远。该项研究报告的作者阿里桑德罗•阿奎斯蒂、拉尔夫•格罗斯以及弗雷德•斯杜兹曼都来自于美国卡内基梅隆大学,他们的几个试验向人们演示了这种三合一的技术是如何侵犯别人隐私的。其中一个是面部识别软件本身,这项技术已经有了很大的改进。研究者还使用了“云计算”服务,因为它具有很强的处理能力,且价格低廉。他们常上Facebook和LinkedIn等社交网站,那里大多数的用户使用自己真实的名字和照片。

In their first experiment, the researchers collected images from 5,000 profiles of people on a popular American dating site in a particular city—most of whom used pseudonyms. They fed the pictures into an off-the-shelf face-recognition programme that compared them with 280,000 images they had found by using a search engine to identify Facebook profiles from the same city. They discovered the identity of just over a tenth of the folk from the dating site.

在第一项试验中,研究人员先选定某一特定城市,在流行的约会网站上选择该市5000个用户的侧面像——他们大多使用化名。他们把这些图片输入现成的面部识别程序,然后将他们与同一城市通过搜索引擎确定的Facebook头像中的28万份肖像进行对比。用这种方法他们可以确定约会网站十分之一多用户的身份。

That might not seem a big percentage, but the hit rate will get better as face-recognition software improves and more snaps are uploaded. The researchers did a second experiment: they took webcam photos of 93 students on Carnegie Mellon’s campus, with their assent. These were fed into the face-recognition software along with 250,000 photos gleaned from publicly available profiles on Facebook. About a third of students in the test were identified.

这个比率似乎并不算高,但如果面部识别软件得以改进,从网上下载的照片更多,则识别率将会有很大的提升。现在来看研究人员的第二个试验:在获得对方同意的情况下,他们用网络摄像头摄取了93位卡内基梅隆大学学生的照片,然后再把这些照片与25万张从Facebook上随意采集的头像一并输入面部识别软件,约有三分之一的学生被识别出来。

But the most striking result was from a third experiment. By mining public sources, including Facebook profiles and government databases, the researchers could identify at least one personal interest of each student and, in a few cases, the first five digits of a social security number. All this helps to explain concerns over the use of face-recognition software by the likes of Google and Facebook, which have been acquiring firms that specialise in that technology, or licensing software from them. (Google recently snapped up Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition, the firm which owns the programme the researchers used for their tests.) Privacy officials in Europe have said they will scrutinise Facebook’s use of face-recognition software to help people “tag”, or identify, friends in photos they upload. And privacy campaigners in America have made a formal complaint to regulators. (Facebook notes that people can opt out of the photo-tagging service by altering their privacy settings.)

但还是第三个试验的结果最引人注目。通过挖掘Facebook头像以及政府数据库等公共资源,研究人员可以确定每位同学的至少一种个人兴趣,有几次甚至识别出他们社保号码的前五位数字。看到这些,你就知道了为什么人们对于Google 和Facebook这样的网站使用面部识别软件那么关心,这些网站一直在收购专门研制这种技术的公司,或者从他们那里获得软件的使用许可。(Google最近抢先购得匹兹堡图案识别公司,这家公司拥有研究人员实验所用的那种程序。)欧洲关于隐私方面的官员们表示,他们将详查Facebook使用面部识别帮助人们进行跟踪、识别他们下载照片中的朋友。美国的一些隐私保护组织已经向监管者提出正式投诉。(Facebook表示人们可以通过改变个人隐私背景的方式决定退出照片跟踪服务。)

Given the sensitivity, Google decided not to release a face-recognition search engine it had made. Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman, has said it took the decision because “people could use this stuff in a very, very bad way, as well as a good way.” But face-recognition methods may still spread. As Mr Acquisti says, sharing named photos online has “opened the floodgates” to a new, privacy-sapping world. Shutting them will be hard.

考虑其敏感性,Google决定不发布他们制作的面部识别搜索引擎。行政主席艾立克•斯契米迪特表示他们之所以做出这种决策,原因是“人们既可以利用这件东西做好事,也可用它来做非常非常坏的事。”但这种技术依然在发展。正如阿奎斯蒂所说的那样,共享网上的已命名照片,恰似向隐私正遭受破坏的新世界打开了一扇闸门,想要再关上,就难了。

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重点单词
  • conclusionn. 结论
  • identityn. 身份,一致,特征
  • patternn. 图案,式样,典范,模式,型 v. 以图案装饰,仿造
  • decisionn. 决定,决策
  • executiveadj. 行政的,决策的,经营的,[计算机]执行指令 n
  • unearthvt. 发掘,掘出,发现并披露
  • availableadj. 可用的,可得到的,有用的,有效的
  • spreadv. 伸展,展开,传播,散布,铺开,涂撒 n. 伸展,传
  • popularadj. 流行的,大众的,通俗的,受欢迎的
  • recognitionn. 认出,承认,感知,知识