Is Google+ Enabling Your (Inner) Stalker?

Yesterday, as I logged into Google+ I was asked a question which I'm sure may of you have already seen.  Google asked me if it could turn on the "Find My Face" feature.  I know I'm not alone when I say my first thought was "creepy!"

 

Google_Face_Recognition.jpg

 

Hilariously enough, I mentioned it on Twitter and immediately I was overwhelmed with responses from people who have clearly thought of this already, and have tried it to show all the photos belonging to someone else - some quite personal apparently.  Vyrus.jpgMy favorite quote came from my buddy @vyrus001 who said this...

 

I'm fascinated by the security community's ability to see some of these crazy innovations for the darker side of their use-cases (otherwise known as abuse-cases).

 

Let's take a quick look at how this could be abused.

 

Let's say, for example, I wanted to see what someone that I'm very interested in is doing on Google+.  One of the fun features of Google+ is that if you set it up on your mobile device it will want to pull all your photos off that device and photos as you take them up to the Google cloud.  That being a given you can imagine a situation where every photo you take immediately is sucked up into your Google+ profile.

 

Now, if I want to figure out what you've been up to, and maybe stalk you, all I have to do is fine one picture with your face in it.  Then I need to turn on this fabulous feature and let Google+ show me all the fun photos that it things are you... err... me.  I know there are more technologies like this out there, beyond just Google+ ...doesn't make it any less creepy.

 

Whether we agree that these technologies are innovative and "cool" or not - we can certainly agree that if they're not thought all the way through they can be very dangerous in abuse-cases... and this once again brings us back to the cool vs. secure or functionality vs. security discussion.

Labels: Innovation
Comments
OriginalTinkerBell(anon) | ‎12-20-2011 01:33 PM

This is a very creepy/ not only does it invade someone's privacy. But as you state if your trying to stay out of your stalkers radar. This does not help. That is why some do not like to have pictures taken. After getting away from a stalker(abusive relationship, i.e.....spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, ex-neighbor). Or even someone you don't even know. This is putting you right back out their for the person or persons to find you all over again.  I for one have not accepted this. I like my privacy.

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