Facebook is experimenting with technology that can recognize faces in photographs even if they are hidden or obstructed.”In the absence of a clear, high-resolution frontal face, we rely on a variety of subtle cues from other body parts, such as hair style, clothes, glasses, pose and other context. We can easily picture Charlie Chaplin’s mustache, hat and cane or Oprah Winfrey’s curly volume hair,”


Facebook said in a paper presented earlier this month. “Yet, examples like these are beyond the capabilities of even the most advanced face recognizers.”

But not beyond Facebook’s latest facial-recognition technology.

The Menlo Park, Calif., company says it can identify people with 83% accuracy using a method it calls PIPER, or pose invariant person recognition, that looks for tell-tale details such as body poses.

Facebook tested the method on photos from public Flickr albums. The findings were first reported in New Scientist.

Consumer groups have argued that companies like Facebook should get permission before using advanced facial-recognition technology to identify individuals.

Last week the groups abandoned talks with technology companies to create a voluntary code of conduct for the controversial technology.