Home / China / Society

Be careful when posing for a selfie

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-06 08:06

Expert: More biometric information should be used to ensure security

Chinese security experts and officials are advising people to be more careful about making a "V" gesture while taking a photo, because it may raise security risks by exposing their fingerprints.

"It is theoretically possible," said Pei Zhiyong, a cybersecurity specialist at Qihoo 360, a leading security software provider in China.

"Especially when the photos are taken by high-definition cameras or smartphones, or in macro shootings," Pei said.

Be careful when posing for a selfie

If the distance between the person and a smartphone is less than half a meter, and his or her picture is photographed by a digital single-lens reflex camera, "the possibility of the fingerprint being captured will be bigger", he said.

Having fingerprints stolen can cause a lot of difficulty, as they are used in many aspects of people's lives, including identity cards, passports and online payments, according to Pei.

"So it's a must to pay attention to their protection and avoid them being spread on the internet," he added.

The security concern was first raised by a Japanese research center, the National Institute of Informatics.

Ding Dayuan, 24, a renovation consultant from Shenyang, Liaoning province, said he often made a "V" gesture in his photos, "but after I read the Japanese research, I made the gesture with the back of my hands over concerns of privacy."

Zeng Qiaoyi, 29, who likes sharing selfies on WeChat, said she is also concerned.

She said she seldom posts pictures with "V" gestures and most pictures she shares are modified by photography applications. "I blur backgrounds in selfies, hoping to hide my location," she added.

Tan Tieniu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said at the 2016 China National Computer Congress that using fingerprints in place of access passwords or as identification is far from safe, compared with face recognition.

Pei agreed. "Only relying on people's fingerprints to identify them is not enough, let alone to protect their privacy and safety. It would be safer if we combine more biometric information, such as inputting a fingerprint and a password at the same time," he said.

But Wang Xiangrui, a police officer from Jiangsu province, said residents don't need to be overly anxious, because the lenses of many cellphones are not clear enough to capture fingerprints, and the shooting distance of most photos taken by HD cameras is too far.

Be careful when posing for a selfie

Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349