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Behind the Curtains of Facial Recognition Technology



Facial Recognition Technology

Technology has promised to make our lives better, and it has done so in numerous
ways too. That said, there is always a grey area associated with it. Facial recognition is often considered to be a technology in this category.

Having been around for a while now, there have been cases for and against it. If there is any time to discuss where the court of public opinion should sway regarding facial recognition controversies, it is now.

What is Facial Recognition Technology?

Facial recognition is not just the technology that allows you to unlock your iPhone X series or other new-generation devices. To properly understand what we are dealing with, we also have to know what facial recognition tech is in its basic form.

Here, we can simply define facial recognition as the technology that helps with the identification and verification of people via the biometric information provided by their faces. Like other forms of identification, this system leverages the understanding that the unique setups of the human face are particular to individuals, and can be used to tell them apart from another person.

As humans, we have the innate ability to recognize people and faces too. When we see someone that we know, there are a lot of processes going on in our brain, but they happen in split seconds to bring about remembrance and recognition.

That is the model which facial recognition tech from all over the world has copied to replicate the results it can generate on a massive scale.

Facial Recognition Technology
Facial Recognition Technology

So, how do these systems work?

  • A capture of the target’s face is completed to serve as raw data. This face might be captured in isolation or a group/ crowd of people
  • The facial recognition algorithms map all the features of the faces so that it can ‘remember’ it. These features include but are not limited to, the geometry of the face, the distance between the eyes, the length between the forehead and chin, special features on the face, etc.
  • From the mathematical data generated above, a facial signature is created for the target. This is unique to them unless there is also someone with the same face data (almost impossible).
  • When such a face is run through the system again, the AI uses the data from the supplied face and runs it through all the signatures in the database. A match is made.

That looks simple enough, but it takes a lot of processing power to get it done. The intricacies of the calculations that facial recognition tech also have to make for accuracy has greatly improved in the past few years.

Today, we have commercial-grade facial recognition software – such as the one on the Apple iPhone X series – that is accurate to about 1: 1,000,000 odds of making a mistake.

Where Is Facial Recognition Used?

Like we said in the opening part of this, facial recognition is more than what you just use to unlock your phones. While that use case has drawn more attention to it in the past couple of years, it has been applied in different areas of human life.

Looking around today, some of the common use cases of facial recognition tech include:


Facial Recognition Technology At Airports
Facial Recognition Technology At Airports

Governments, especially in developed countries, have installed different facial recognition systems in airports all around the world.

The US is known for using this to track known and suspected terrorists before they gain entry into, or leave, the country. It has also been employed to fish out travelers and immigrants that have overstayed their welcome in the country, usually having an expired visa or other crimes to their names.

Computer Systems

Computer Systems
Computer Systems

Mobile phones and computers have also enjoyed the use of a facial recognition system, and we are seeing more and more of such units make the market these days.

This is usually offered as an upgrade over the basic fingerprint biometrics system that we saw first – and it could even come alongside this on some models. Laptop and PC manufacturers are also getting in on this trend, fitting their modules with facial login systems for easier access.

The level of security that these applications provide remains a contended topic, but that will be discussed later.


Facial Recognition Technology At Colleges
Facial Recognition Technology At Colleges

Some colleges have started using facial recognition systems for various purposes.

While some keep the applications to putting up better safety and security around the school, others have opted to bring the technology into the classroom too. Here, it can be employed to take roll calls and determine if a student has been missing class. That, it is believed, beats having a student sign the attendance sheets on behalf of another, curbs examination malpractice, etc.


You will be surprised to know that some companies now prefer to have their members of staff access business areas with a facial system rather than ID badges. Likewise, it could also be employed to log the staff member into work, effectively tracking the time that they came in better than non-digital systems can.

Social Media

Social Media
Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook will scan pictures that you upload to identify other users, asking you if you want to tag them in the post. This happens so fast that you don’t even know when they had the time to run all the faces that popped up in your picture frame.

Besides these, stores, markets, religious organizations also make use of facial recognition technology to an extent.

Where Facial Recognition Shines

Safety and Security

Safety and Security
Safety and Security

Observing all that has been said so far, it becomes easy to see that the most widespread use case for facial recognition is for safety and security.

Government agencies do not have the manpower to go combing through crowds of people in different cities just to identify one person. What they can do, though, is turn to facial recognition so that they get alerted as soon as the cameras find a match anywhere.

This allows for the concentration of resources on finding where the hit originated from rather than expending their energy all over the place.

To this effect, facial recognition has proved successful.

Arrests have been made based on data access via such tech, criminals have been identified and the world can be said to be a safer place for that.

Identification of Missing people

Another plus for facial recognition tech on this front is in the identification of missing people. A trial run of a facial recognition platform once helped in the positive matching and spotting of thousands of missing children within mere hours of its deployment. It remains to see if human efforts, without the tech, could have yielded such results in a little time.

Prevent Malpractice at Schools

The facial recognition tech could also help schools to prevent malpractice. It is not unheard of for students to pay someone else to sit for their exams. While these imposters could get through every other kind of check imaginable, they won’t be able to fool the facial recognition software.


While on this matter, the convenience of facial recognition is why many users are flocking towards it. It offers a non-intrusive, contactless method of identifying and verifying people. That is unlike physical checks, fingerprint stops, etc. Thus, there is a convenience that also comes with installing one such system around too.

Speaking of convenience, social giants like Facebook are not the only ones using facial recognition tech to identify you and others in your photos. Look through the main cloud photo storage platforms (think Google Photos and iCloud), and you see how they help you group pictures/ identify contacts based on their facial data.

Prevent Time Frauds

It is not uncommon for employees to come into work late but record earlier times. Sometimes, it is also important within the business to know who accesses what rooms, and at what times. With facial recognition, operations like this become seamless without adding an extra second of wait time.

There are other benefits of facial recognition on smaller scales, depending on where they have been deployed. However, the above have done well to represent the main benefits associated with this form of tech at different times.


Where Facial Recognition Falls Short

For all the good run that facial recognition tech seems to have had, there are serious concerns about it too.

Invasion of Personal privacy

While the government, businesses, store owners and other users in the public space might argue that they are using the tech to regulate crime, they are doing so without consent. Facial data is being collected by these cameras and AI every time, even if you have a sparkling clean record.

In other words, these people are collecting data about you without your consent and permission.

When the government says that it can track down criminals by following their facial data around, they are conveniently not saying that they can track you the same way. After all, the system has not been built to throw an exception when it finds a non-criminal entity.

With such in place, you don’t know how much of what you do is under the watchful eyes of the government and whoever they have put in charge of the systems.

Racial Bias

Racial bias is also something that should be highly considered here.

Some reports have claimed that these facial recognition systems are generally bad at making out people of different races and colors. This same misconception has also been extended to women in diverse ethnic groups. If we are to be honest, there is a bit of truth behind this misconception.

For facial recognition systems to work at their best, they need to be trained with various datasets and faces. In these training modules, so to speak, there is a gross under-representation of people of different races and women.

Such could lead the system to throw a false positive or a false negative. Either way, that might mean disaster for the subject that was not identified, or wrongly identified to be someone else.

Risks of data breach

Data Breach
Data Breach

That might not be an issue in itself until you consider what could happen in a data breach. Since you don’t know how this data is being stored, you have the right to be concerned about where it might end up. After all, your face is yours – but the digital version can be used by just about anyone who gets access to it in a data breach.

Lack of regulations

Perhaps the most dangerous thing concerning this piece of technology is the almost non-existent regulation around it.

Even though the technology is being deployed on a larger scale, who checks how it is being used? What governs how the data is being collected, stored and reproduced? Who draws a line between the white-and-blacks of the facial tech world?

Going Forward

The Future of Facial Recognition
The Future of Facial Recognition

In the closing parts of last year, San Francisco led the charge in becoming the first city to ban the use of facial recognition systems. If there were not strong arguments for this, it would not have happened.

It might be true that they help to analyze threats and neutralize them. However, the grave threats to the privacy and security of peaceful, law-abiding citizens cannot be waived too. If data of any kind is to be collected, including facial information, the least that advocates could do is ask for consent. Facial recognition will not go away. At least, not anytime soon. But then, staying will mean that this tech is ready to conform to regulations which will soon start springing up anyways.

Also Read: Cloud Gaming: Video Game Playing On The Go

Dave Daniel has been a Freelancer and Blogger for the past 3 years and is now the proud owner of The Tech Vamps. He has Expertise in the Areas of Technology, Science, Gaming, Gadgets, Hacking, Web Development, etc.

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Hacking – A Fullstop On E-system




Hacking – A Fullstop On E-system

Passion or Madness: Now days, it has become a passion to learn how to hack. Some of us do it for the sheer challenge, some for the sheer love for learning and new technologies. Regardless of what the reason is, with every hack someone is trying to improve the technology we rely on.

There are many hacking related skills one can learn, depending on the person and the type of hacking they want to do. As there are many opportunities and facets to the hacking world, it makes it complex to learn all things related to it.

But, it is never too late if you have the right information and the right techniques. In order to make sure that you have all the information you need, you can always study and learn hacking. The best part of it all is that, for all you know, you can be the next hacker that redefines the way we think about security.

Mentoring: There are many opportunities available for collaboration and snooping on hackers. If you have an interest in snooping on hackers or have the opportunity to learn from them, consider taking a class or participating in a workshops. You might be surprised how much knowledge they have about the technologies they use… and you can use what you’ve learned and put it to good use.

Sniffer: We have tools now that can let us track IP addresses. We can also tell how far away the IP address is from us, and we can sniff for firewalls, viruses, and other threats. We can also reveal a lot of other information about the person/company that we are dealing with.

Cache: We refer to the temporary files that store all the information that has been fetched over the net. Actually, the term ‘cache’ is a bit misleading. The information is not stored in order and there is no order to it. The information is usually stored in memory and while it is loading it is also stored in a temporary location so that it is not immediately discarded. The temporary location is emptied when the request for the information is finished and then the information is discarded.

Many hacking tools use a variety of modes of communication Protocols (Speakers, Morse code, Direct Sensing, etc.)


•http which is a general term used for HTTP/ActiveX and often used by many InternetBrowsers, presents significant security risks. It is a specification supported by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and is responsible for the functioning of the World Wide Web. The primary concern of the IETF is the transfer of files and processes over the Internet.

The subsequent technologies, which are often but not always classified, follow between HTTP and TCP/IP and SPI.

Internet Protocol (IP)

•IP over SSL

• Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of protocols that offers Internet users the ability to communicate online using the TCP network. The IP protocol applies resource sharing and addressing methods among the computers on a network and is responsible for the flow of information exchanged during online transactions. Online users consists of computers that have been granted access by an Internet service provider (ISP).

Online Systems Management (OSMP)



o Virus Bulletin No. 9110 provides updates on viruses that are specific to the Microsoft IIS 5.0 Extended Validation SSL Certificate. This Microsoft SSL certificate enables you to secure private data that pass through, including documents, e-mail messages, and on to databases, which store user credentials and other private information. This certificate also enables your site to display a secured page now and later, when your users click a protected link.

The CSR data must be verified and properly transformed in the digital object before it can be authenticated and then encrypted. Therefore, to access the signed certificate, the user must have the Bit-Authentication turned on for the Microsoft Exchange 2007 Online Explorer (E), which comes with the SSL functionality.

Effects of Certificate Fraud

A fraudulent Certificate could cause several problems for the user. The certificate could be fraudulent in the sense that the name of the sender or any essential part of the signature block is misrepresented or false. Physical inspection of the AIA may also be performed by an authorized third party, such as an auditor, in order to confirm the fact that the web site is legitimate. If SSL authentication is possible and has been enabled on the site, the browser will display a padlock and indicate that an SSL certificate is secured.

Reasons to Prevent Certificate Fraud

The instances of certificate fraud may be reduced if users and businesses implement evolving strategies and are informed about how the security process & monitoring mechanisms work.

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How To Avoid Spyware Before It’s Too Late!




How To Avoid Spyware Before It’s Too Late!

Unfortunately, most people don’t pay much attention to the threat posed by spyware until their level of infection has become acute and their private information has been compromised. The final result is that they become subject to an identity theft attempt. New methods of attack are being developed all the time and you need to get up to speed on the subject and stay informed of changes as they occur in order to know how to protect yourself.

First of all, if you are a careless surfer you are living dangerously and eventually you will get nailed. The smart thing is to set your computer environment up with a secure defensive perimeter and to prevent unauthorized access to your computer and check out any personal information that you have stored on your hard disk. If you surf the web, open attachments or use peer to peer applications then you risk being victimized.

The statistics are staggering and reveal just some of the tremendous amount of personal information that is present across the internet. According to requirements imposed by the federal government, we can all be traced back to our IP address. With that information in the wrong hands, a lot of people have a lot of problems.

The only solution is to minimize your risk of exposure. This requires you to be careful about the type of information that you divulge while online. Don’t assume that you can just offload your personal information to sites that are willing to accept financial information. Sites that are willing to acquire your information will have an address that you can contact them to confirm their legitimacy.

Other risk factors include file sharing programs, so you should download and install programs like the well-known P2P file sharing programs like BeXTRA or CoolWebSearch that help you keep your computer free from harmful viruses, hackers and worms. Surfing anonymously will also help keep your privacy since no one will be able to trace you and your actions.

Why should you risk it?

Secure surfing is one of the best ways to protect your identity and personal information. It’s not hard to understand why most people begin to take a liking to the idea and begin to make regular trips to the local library to surf the internet and download files. The truth is that they should avoid these activities because it is possible that they are the victims of online thieves.

The trailblazing technology of today has helped to make the whole process much safer and understanding students to use the internet and avoid harmful viruses. However, these efforts have not been able to totally rid the internet of its infamous reputation as a source of crimes and victim of fraud. Users that have criminal intent will never be able to track you using your IP address because mobile malware and other malicious programs will also be unable to track you.

Using this technology will also help you to stay protected since you will be able to encrypt your data which will render it totally unrecoverable once it is deleted from your computer. There are numerous applications available when it comes to protecting yourself from cyber crimes; one of which that is available is the IP hiding software. This software enables you to surf the web undetected through the IP address of origin. After the IP address is hidden, the site you visit will pretend to be from the computer you are using.

This is because the site is actually acting as a proxy server; one that originates from the computer you are using. If you are currently using a site that you are not sure of, then visit a local library or search online for a few reviews about the product.

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