A New Security Threat – Posting High Resolution Pictures.

Photo by Fox from Pexels.

It’s so simple, snap a picture and post it on social media. No harm, right?

Well, other than the tech companies storing your images in their facial recognition databases forever. But now there is a new threat, and this threat is due to the fact that cameras on phones are getting better and better.

In fact, the resolution on your pictures is so good that thieves can zoom in and steal information that you didn’t even realize you were giving away. Here’s two examples…

Now, if you take a selfie of yourself and you make the peace sign with your fingers, anyone can zoom in and get your fingerprint. According to researchers in China, “When fingertips of V signs in photos face the camera and photos are taken within 1.5 meters of the camera, users’ fingerprint information can be 100 percent disclosed, Zhang Wei, a deputy with the Shanghai Information Security Association, said during the 2019 China Cybersecurity Week, according to a report by the Paper.

100%! And all selfies are within 1.5 meters!

Another example shows how this can turn really bad. In Japan, a stalker looked at someone’s picture on social media and zoomed in to the person’s eye, and was able to determine where that person lived by identifying landmarks in the reflection of the person’s eye! He then found her and killed her.

The moral of the story: be careful sharing pictures on Social Media!

As a P.S., I will share one other story. Please check out this story of how the pictures that you post online of your kids are being used to train artificial intelligence on facial recognition.

4 Comments

  1. Whoa!! I knew bad actors could do a bunch of things with digital photos, but getting your fingerprint(s) from one is eye opening & sketchy. Thank you for the info! Now that I know this, I’ll be mindful about any photo with my fingers palm side out.

    People should also know how much ‘metadata’ their giving to social media too. Location, date, time, pic size, type of phone, numerous camera variables, & many more details. You can download free Apps that will strip away all that metadata to any photo before you post/upload it.

    I have a love/hate relationship with technology, especially in the last 2 decades. Lots of pros, but many cons. Sometimes it feels like the cons outweigh the pros. Technology will continue to grow at a faster rate, which our privacy/security will be even more at risk & taken advantage of.

    If companies & governments would just put in place restrictions & laws to clamp down on the security of our data, we could actually enjoy technology without having to worry about XYZ.
    I’m not holding my breath though.

    1. Thanks JC. I personally don’t trust companies or government to solve the problem because they want to gather our information.

  2. I totally agree Glenn. There are a few companies & some in government that actually care, but not enough to make a difference. We need to educate ourselves & use that knowledge & tools available to lessen the damage.

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