SensitiveNets: Learning Agnostic Representations with Application to Face Recognition

Aythami Morales, Julian Fierrez, Ruben Vera-Rodriguez

This work proposes a new neural network feature representation that help to leave out sensitive information in the decision-making process of pattern recognition and machine learning algorithms. The aim of this work is to develop a learning method capable to remove certain information from the feature space without drop of performance in a recognition task based on that feature space. Our work is in part motivated by the new international regulation for personal data protection, which forces data controllers to avoid discriminative hazards while managing sensitive data of users. Our method is based on a triplet loss learning generalization that introduces a sensitive information removal process. The method is evaluated on face recognition technologies using state-of-the-art algorithms and publicly available benchmarks. In addition, we present a new annotation dataset with balanced distribution between genders and ethnic origins. The dataset includes more than 120K images from 24K identities with variety of poses, image quality, facial expressions, and illumination. The experiments demonstrate that it is possible to reduce sensitive information such as gender or ethnicity in the feature representation while retaining competitive performance in a face recognition task.

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