Facial recognition software for the masses

Facial recognition

Software, used by the Government and social networks for facial recognition, is being released into the public domain, it was revealed this weekend.

The tool from Face.com analyses pictures, identifying the location of prominent features such as the nose and eyes, and can then search the internet for other pictures of the same subject.

It has now been released to developers and could be incorporated into a number of new offerings.

Gil Hirsch, chief executive (CEO) of Face.com, told The Sunday Times: "We have launched a service that allows developers to take our facial recognition technology and apply it immediately to their own applications."

"The technology is already being used by 5,000 developers. You can basically search for people in any photo."

The software is already used by the UK Border Agency and on social networks for the purpose of tagging photos, but the news it is set to be released to the public has had a mixture of responses.

Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, said: "I think this will make many people very uneasy."

"The regulators have been hugely behind the curve of protecting people's privacy on the internet. We need to push for much tighter international rules."

However, there is nothing in place to stop the distribution of such a product, whatever the concerns may be.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.