Anonymity No More
It’s no news that with the invention of the internet—or more specifically Facebook and Google—came the disappearance of privacy as we know it. These mega websites record your every status, picture, search, location, and any possible data you provide the internet and sell that information to companies willing to pay the big bucks (mostly advertisers). It’s how you see creepily accurate targeted ads on any website you visit. Seriously though, I’ve seen ads on FB for t-shirts that say “Lithuanian blooded but livin in the Big Easy.” 1. Why would I ever want a shirt that says that and 2. Super effin creepy.
Like we said, this isn’t surprising news. In fact, we’ve become so desensitized by this breach of privacy, we’ve come to accept the idea that “if [you] put it on the internet, it’s anyone’s game.” We have a certain trust in Facebook and Google that even with all the information they receive from us, no direct harm will come of it. Well, no more. This Russian photographer proved with one project how literally anyone can get a boat load of information from you, with one blurry snapshot.
Russian photographer Egor Tsvetkov’s latest project will have you feeling a little on edge. Entitled Your Face Is Big Data, Egor aims to prove just how little privacy people around the world actually have. For several weeks, he took pictures of random strangers on the subway in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Find Face Found
All of the subjects weren’t aware of the photos being taken, and many faces were only partially scene. He then took his pictures and uploaded them to a facial recognition app called FindFace. It’s free, anyone can download it, and it will scan the Russian social media equivalent of Facebook, VKontakte, for similar looking people.
Your Life is an Open (face)Book
Of all the photographs he took on the subway, FindFace found 70% of the subjects profile pages. He explained that the purpose of his project was “a clear illustration of the future that awaits us if we continue to disclose as much about ourselves on the internet as we do now.”
Now here in America, someone taking a photo of you could be cause for some alarm, but now we’re not quite sure. Even Egor said he was surprised saying, “The people did not react in any way, although I was quite obviously photographing them.”