Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Your “Expectation of Privacy” Just Got Lower | The Nestmann Group

Posted by M. C. on October 18, 2017

I have decided not to allow photos of myself if they have a chance of ending up on social media. We will see how that goes with the relatives.

Last month, researchers at Stanford University announced they had developed software that was able to accurately predict a person’s sexual orientation.

Drawing from photos on a popular dating website, their program was able to correctly distinguish self-identified gay men from heterosexual men 81% of the time. It had a 71% success rate in distinguishing gay women from heterosexual women. When the algorithm was given five images of the same person to examine, the accuracy rose to 91% for men and 83% for women.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the threat to privacy that face recognition and other biometric technologies pose. And everyone is vulnerable.

In the US, you have no right to privacy with respect to your facial features. No federal law regulates the collection of biometric data. For instance, anyone with a camera can legally take your picture in a public space. And with applications such as FindFace Pro, police can match your photo to a database of millions of photos in a fraction of a second.

And anyone who retrieves an image of your fingerprints can probably unlock your phone as well. Think of the 5.6 million sets of fingerprints that were stolen in 2015 from the US Office of Personnel Management, which was widely believed to be the work of hackers employed by the Chinese government.

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are also investigating biometric markers other than faces and fingerprints to identify suspected terrorists. Research dating back to 2010 demonstrates the effectiveness of “brain fingerprinting.” This involves using an electroencephalograph (EEG) to determine if a piece of information is stored in a person’s brain. The EEG pinpoints an involuntary reaction called a “P300 response.” The P300 response is a spike in brain activity a fraction of a second after a test subject is shown a familiar image or other stimuli.

For instance, an individual suspected of being a member of a terrorist cell that plans to bomb a train station could be shown photos of different train stations. The image that elicits the largest P300 response will be the most likely target.

Don’t renew your driver’s license until it expires.

Unsubscribe from Facebook and other social networks.

Wear head coverings.

If you’re a man, grow a beard.

Disable fingerprint or other biometric unlocking of your smartphone or any other electronic device.

Don’t submit to any type of voluntary search.

Be seeing you


I am not a number. I am a free man!-Number 6


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