Beware the peace sign man

cd279694-7078-4a03-949d-4c6871c8d112_thumbFlashing peace signs in Internet snaps might be giving spooks access to your personal data, smartphone and smart houses.

A new study from Japan’s National Institute of Informatics (NII) says fingerprint recognition technology is so common place on smartphones, tablets and laptop computers that spooks and hackers want to get their paws on your pawprints.

Mobile devises with high-quality cameras and social media sites where photographs can be easily posted is raising the risk of personal information being leaked, reports said.

The NII researchers copied fingerprints based on photos taken by a digital camera three metres away from the subject.

NII researcher Isao Echizen told the Sankei Shimbun newspaper that just by making a peace sign in front of a camera, fingerprints can become widely available.

If you give someone else bunny ears, or even waive you could also have your fingerprint stolen.

“Fingerprint data can be recreated if fingerprints are in focus with strong lighting in a picture,” Echizen also told Yomiuri TV.

He added that advanced technology was not necessary and anyone could easily copy fingerprints.

NII has developed a transparent film containing titanium oxide that can be attached to fingers to hide their prints. The film prevents identity theft but does not interfere with fingerprints being effective in identity verification.

It just means that whenever you think you are going to be photographed you put on the film. Of course, a spook with a cool long lens can probably snap you when you least expect it when your hands are naked, but we suspect that will be the least of the technology’s problems.