A facial recognition technology developed by a Russian company will soon make it easier to perform search using images rather than text. As these are the guys who beat Google at identifying photos of people, you can bet the future of facial recognition is upon us.

Co-founder of N-Tech Lab, a facial recognition start up, Alexander Kabakov, has created FindFace. It is an app that finds users on social networks based on an image, using N-Tech lab’s fast identification technologies.

What does it do exactly?

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Dr. Alec Couros, a Canadian professor of Education Technology, used the app to identify multiple profiles that used his photos. He had been an indirect victim of catfishing scammers, where his image was used across multiple social media sites to run a scam. People behind those fake profiles used his image to weasel money from lonely women.

Couros promptly informed victims about the romance scam, so they can protect themselves from further fraudulent acts. He also did his best to report scammers of their crimes.

According to him, photos of military men are likely to be used as photos for male profiles, while sub-famous female porn stars are used for female profiles.

If not for FindFace, he wouldn’t have found out about how his image has been used without his knowledge, and for romance scams, at that.

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The downside of the facial recognition technology, however, is that anonymous people could lose their privacy. As what Global Voice’s AdVox relates, Russian women who acted in pornography are now being harassed after they were identified by their profiles on Russian social network VK.

Imagine what can happen if facial recognition is used by Facebook. Scammers might be avoided, but privacy would also be invaded.

As of now, FindFace is using VK’s database to find profiles to match with image search. For now, if you don’t have a VK account, then you are safe.

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