Hack faces to find Social Security numbers
demo at Black Hat and Defcon
showed it's possible to acquire a person's Social Security number using nothing more than a photo publicly available in online social-network databases, face-recognition software and an algorithm for deducing the numbers. The point is to show that a framework of digital surveillance that can go from a person's image to personal data exists today, says Alessandro Acquisti, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, who presented the research. The results will only get better as technologies improve, making privacy more scarce and making surveillance readily available to the masses. "This, I believe and fear, is the future we are walking into," says Acquisti.