Last year, a Russian firm launched the website FindFace, which matches submitted photos to profiles on the social networking site VK, a regional Facebook imitator. If a stranger photographs you in the street or spots your image on another site, and you’re on VK, then FindFace can likely identify you by name.

Trolls immediately began using the site to out actresses in adult videos, harassing them and their friends and shaming them on discussion boards with epithets like “burnt whore.” Meanwhile, Moscow police use facial recognition on a network of 160,000 security cameras across the city, and China is using cameras with facial recognition to tag jaywalkers.

You can also use your face to pay at some KFCs in China, and it’s required before toilet paper can be dispensed  at some public restrooms. In Dubai, police wear Google Glass devices that identify the faces of people in front of them. Here at home, the faces of half of all American adults are already in the government’s facial-recognition system.

It’s becoming harder to go about your life in private, online or off, anywhere in the world. You don’t need to be a porn star or a crook to find that unnerving.

Now researchers are developing techniques that not only identify people by their faces but also infer what’s in their minds. Our expressions signal our emotions, and our facial structure can hint at our genetic makeup. Read more from…

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