Feeds

Web stalkers to get face search plug-in

Polar Rose dodges thorny issues

High performance access to file storage

Opinion If privacy campaigners think the internet has given them stomach ulcers, they ain't seen the latest in facial recognition web search yet.

The idea is that you can snap a picture of someone with, say, your mobile phone, stick it on your computer and use it to search the web for other pictures of the same person.

Using a system being developed by Polar Rose, you might also discover who they are, where they live, and what other people have to say about them. An upcoming plug-in will allow you to do this with any image on the web.

Mikkel Thagaard, Polar's vice president of business development, told The Register he was planning to let people get at this sort of information straight over their mobile phones.

Stalkers, muggers and pointy-nosed predators of all ilks might have a field day with it. Even nosey neighbours, curtain twitchers, and weekend vigilantes should be rubbing their hands when they hear about this one.

And there are plenty of innocent applications for this sort of tool. The firm is trying to persuade dating and photo sharing web sites to incorporate its facial-search software into their services. These deals would help populate the facial database on which Polar's success is dependent. Polar requires users to add textual descriptors, wiki-style, to photos they find using its software. Those tagged images could then be used as the backbone of a contextual advertisement server, which will serve up the money to pay Polar's investors.

There is a proviso, however, which is that Polar have to generate enough interest in their products to build a database of images large enough to make this snap and tag operation work, and to satisfy the investors who gave them $5.1m of funding in November.

Nikolaj Nyholm, CEO of Polar Rose, said he had consulted privacy lawyers before setting the launch of his first product at the end of this month. We presume they gave him a big fat green light.

He said was not ignorant of the implications his software might have for privacy, but couldn't do much about it either.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Microsoft: Windows version you probably haven't upgraded to yet is ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of Windows 8.1 will no longer support patches
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.