Quartz: “Voice skins” will make the internet a freer—but more dangerous—place. “For many, anonymity frees us from accountability. Untethered to our physical selves, free from our names and the possibility of injury to reputation, we can say and do things we might not otherwise because the societal consequences are eliminated. As Oscar Wilde put it in 1891, ‘Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.’ That’s got both upsides and downsides.”
Wired: Facebook’s New CAPTCHA Test: ‘upload A Clear Photo Of Your Face’. “The company is using a new kind of captcha to verify whether a user is a real person. According to a screenshot of the identity test shared on Twitter on Tuesday and verified by Facebook, the prompt says: ‘Please upload a photo of yourself that clearly shows your face. We’ll check it and then permanently delete it from our servers.’” Yeah. No.
Ars Technica: Why the Equifax breach is very possibly the worst leak of personal info ever. “By providing full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and, in some cases, driver license numbers, it provided most of the information banks, insurance companies, and other businesses use to confirm consumers are who they claim to be. The theft, by criminals who exploited a security flaw on the Equifax website, opens the troubling prospect the data is now in the hands of hostile governments, criminal gangs, or both and will remain so indefinitely.”
Phys.org: The misappropriation of the identities of famous people on Twitter. “Basing itself on the approaches of discourse analysis and sociocultural pragmatics, [Ana] Mancera has made a linguistic study of 5,030 messages published on more than 50 Twitter profiles, all of which were parodic in nature and which were written in the guise of figures of social importance. These were grouped into different categories according to the area of the parodied subject—for example, politics, the communications media, sport, royalty, etc.”
BetaNews: New authentication platform seeks to tackle fake news and profiles . “Released in beta today, Authenticated Reality uses real-time authentication of a user’s driving license along with verification of email, social media accounts, Apple in-app purchases, and biometric elements including facial recognition. This ensures each member of the community is genuine and eliminates fake profiles.”
Wow: using neural networks to turn face sketches into photorealistic images. How cool is this? “A team of four neuroscientists at Radboud University is working on a model for inverting face sketches to synthesize photorealistic face images by using deep neural networks. The results of the study (Convolutional Sketch Inversion) were first made available in the online archive arXiv and have recently been accepted at the European Conference on Computer Vision in Amsterdam.”
TheNextWeb: Twitter’s new ‘automated’ verification scheme feels desperate. “When Twitter decided to make account verification a simpler process, many rejoiced at the opportunity to be branded. Some accounts were obviously lacking verification, while some just covet it. And now that it’s here, verification feels like desperation.”
The FTC has upgraded its IdentifyTheft.gov site. “The new one-stop website is integrated with the FTC’s consumer complaint system, allowing consumers who are victims of identity theft to rapidly file a complaint with the FTC and then get a personalized guide to recovery that helps streamline many of the steps involved.”