Bad news for those teenage girls who can't resist flashing a V-sign while posing for selfies - they might be inadvertently exposing their personal data.
The National Institute of Informatics in Japan has warned that criminals could potentially steal important personal information from photos by using facial recognition and fingerprint technology, according to its recent research.
Chinese experts said such data theft could only happen as a result of close-up shots in high definition. It largely depends on the quality of the camera as to whether a photo can actually be used to capture an exact fingerprint.
“Technically speaking, it’s difficult to retrieve fingerprints from a single photo,” said Yin Desen, a researcher for the Ministry of Public Security. "Doing so from a video is more thorough.”
The alarm over V-signs has enlivened Chinese social media platforms - netizens were quick to question whether there really was a significant risk.
Others joked about the fact that many girls use photo editing apps when taking selfies and their fingerprints won’t be recognized after a “soft skin” button.
“What if criminals may use your iris data from photos of you with wide-open eyes?” said @liulangdeduanjia on Weibo.
Experts suggest people keep an eye on their hand gestures when posing - just in case criminals can take advantage.