V signs in photos can reveal personal data

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/16 19:53:40

An examinee registers through fingerprint reader at the entrance examination of physical education in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province. Photo: VCG

 Flicking a V sign hand gesture in photos could give away personal data information via fingerprints, according to Chinese internet security experts, prompting anxiety among Chinese netizens.

When fingertips of V signs in photos face the camera and photos are taken within 1.5 meters of the camera, users' fingerprint information can be 100 percent disclosed, Zhang Wei, a deputy with the Shanghai Information Security Association, said during the 2019 China Cybersecurity Week, according to a report by the Paper.

Zhang said that photos taken at a distance of 1.5 meters to three meters can provide 50 percent of the fingerprint information, but photos taken from more than three meters away make it a lot harder.

Fingerprint information can be extracted from photos and made into fingerprint patterns, and criminals can use these patterns to identify themselves by fingerprint recognition technology, such as fingerprint door locks or fingerprint payment systems, the Paper reported.

The hashtag "Flicking V signs in photos might give away personal information" has been viewed more than 390 million times on Sina Weibo.

Chinese netizens have become concerned after being warned that one of the most popular hand gestures when taking photos is so dangerous, and some of them have begun to seek solutions. "I will let the back of my hands face the camera from now on and hide my fingertips," one netizen wrote.

Some netizens are worried about other recognition technologies. "If displaying fingertips in photos can give away fingertip information, what about showing my face? My iris information can also be revealed and stolen by others to cheat iris recognition systems," another Weibo user commented.

Zhang warned people not to disclose fingerprint information in photos posted online and not to leave fingerprint information at machines without confirming their purpose and whether they are legal. 

Zhang added that people should use both fingerprints and passwords to ensure safety, instead of relying only on fingerprints.

The 2019 China Cybersecurity Week opened in Shanghai on Sunday to enhance people's awareness of network security and improve their ability to prevent network security threats.

Global Times

Posted in: SOCIETY

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