Friday, October 28, 2005

Who's that in that Picture

I received an email today in a mailing list I subscribe to talking about riya. It is a service that automatically identifies who is in pictures on your hard drive. It also appears to do some text recognition of words in pictures. This would be so cool, especially with family history photos. Imagine identifying who you know then having the program find them in other family history pictures that aren't labeled, or pictures held by other relatives.

There are two things I would worry about with it 1) keeping my information private. Yes I have information about myself posted on blogs, websites, and other internet venues, but I am careful to be vague about my location. The problem comes in with photos. Suppose I appear in someone else's photos. They don't know who I am. This program, because a friend identifies me by name, identifies me. Potentially a stalker could track me down that way. 2) keeping my children's info private. Someone else who isn't as picky, posts pictures of their kids with my kid identified (say from a school party). Now other pictures where my child appears would be identified perhaps with enough surroundings to identify where my child goes to school.

Now granted, these are only issues assuming someone is willing to spend a lot of time looking for my child in specific, but there are people who deal with issues like that.

I would feel OK using this service if I could control who could see the people I have identified. I wouldn't have a problem releasing pictures of people long dead and for family history I think that would be cool. I think I'll sign up and see if my security concerns are addressed.

1 comment:

Vikram Aggarwal said...

Check out www.myheritage.com, they are about to launch a service similar to Riya but its focus is exactly on family history. It allows you to find photos of your relatives and ancestors in contributions made by other users, as well as making your own photos easier to organize and manage. Their site is all about photos and family trees and integrating the two together using meta-data. There's also a demo there where you can see face recognition in action: upload your photo and see which celebrity you resemble the most... Or upload a photo of a celebrity and test how well their system recognizes him/her.