Displaying a “peace” V-sign when having a picture taken has become a staple pose for many in recent years. However, a new Chinese cybersecurity expert is warning that advances in camera phone technologies could mean the public is uploading photos to social media in high enough quality for it to be possible to “extract enough detail to make a perfect copy.”
The vice-director of the Shanghai Information Security Trade Association, Zhang Wei, is speaking on the issue, warning people that if your hand – and thus, fingerprint – is held close enough to the camera, it could be adequate enough for someone to perfectly replicate. Anyone with competent skills in photo magnifying and artificial intelligence-enhanced technologies would have no problem lifting a print, he says.
As for just how close one would need to stand to the camera to be in danger, Zhang claims anyone within five feet runs the risk of having their print stolen. A subject sporting the gesture is in danger of fingerprint molds being created, which poses security dangers. His remarks have spread like wildfire on social media, gathering more than 450 million views on China’s Weibo platform as of writing.
Feng Jianjiang, a professor of fingerprint identification at Tsinghua University, suggested people check the clarity of their fingerprints by zooming in before uploading them to social media.