Egocentric Video Biometrics

CVPR'16 Title: An Egocentric Look at Video Photographer Identity

Yedid Hoshen and Shmuel Peleg

Videos from the point of view of (a) US Marines; (b) A gun pointing robber

Abstract (2014)

Egocentric cameras are being worn by an increasing number of users, among them many security forces worldwide. GoPro cameras already penetrated the mass market, and Google Glass may follow soon. As head-worn cameras do not capture the face and body of the wearer, it may seem that the anonymity of the wearer can be preserved even when the video is publicly distributed. We show that motion features in egocentric video provide biometric information, and the identity of the user can be determined quite reliably from a few seconds of video. Biometrics are extracted by training Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) architectures on coarse optical flow.

Egocentric video biometrics can prevent theft of wearable cameras by locking the camera when worn by people other than the owner. In video sharing services, this Biometric measure can help to locate automatically all videos shot by the same user. An important message in this paper is that people should be aware that sharing egocentric video will compromise their anonymity.

arXiv Versions: Three versions can be found here.

CVPR 2016

The paper appeared in CVPR 2016, and can be downloaded here. The CVPR title was change to accommodate the reviewers. CVPR reference:

Y. Hoshen and S. Peleg, An Egocentric Look at Video Photographer Identity, CVPR'16, Las Vegas, June 2016.


The paper has attracted some media attention. Selected articles are presented below:

Smithsonian Magazine, "You Wobble Like No Other Person on the Planet".

The Verge, "Your wearable camera wobble is as unique as a fingerprint"., "If your GoPro tells you: Videos from the first-person perspective mean anonymity" (Google Translate).

New Scientist, "Your telltale video camera shake can identify you".

MIT Technology Review, "The Coming Era of Egocentric Video Analysis".

The Boston Globe, "How your GoPro videos could give away your identity".

UPI, "Wearable cameras find person's unique motion signature (like fingerprints)".

PCWorld, "Want to stay anonymous? Don't wear a camera".

Ars Techniqa, "4 seconds of body cam video can reveal a biometric fingerprint, study says"., "Computer airs identity almost every cameraman" (Google Translate).

Popular Mechanics, "You Can ID Anyone by How They Hold Their Video Camera".

Gizmodo (en Espaniol), "The tremor when holding a camera can be used to identify you" (Google Translate).

CIO Asia, "Want to stay anonymous? Don't wear a camera".