The selfie phenomenon is undoubtedly making the NSA’s job easier by producing a mountain of tagged online data to feed its facial recognition algorithms.
A report in The New York Times, based on documents from 2011 obtained by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, reveals that the US security agency’s reliance on facial recognition technology has grown significantly under the Obama administration — coinciding with a rise in popularity of taking and tagging self portraits on online social networks.
The newspaper reports that the agency has turned to new software to process the flood of images being included in digital communication including social media, email, messaging, videoconferencing and other types of online comms. The 2011 documents show that agency officials believe technological advances in facial recognition software could revolutionize the way the NSA finds intelligence targets around the world.
According to the documents, the agency intercepts “millions” of images per day — including about…
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