"We humans can already recognise people with these cues quite well. People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from the back," Yann LeCun, head of artificial intelligence at Facebook, was quoted as saying.

The research team pulled almost 40,000 public photos from Flickr - some of people with their full face clearly visible and others where they were turned away - and ran them through a sophisticated neural network.

The final algorithm was able to recognise people's identities with 83 percent accuracy. However, the ability to identify someone even when they are not looking at the camera raises some serious privacy implications.

The fact that you can still be identified even if you hide your face, would be a cause of concern for many people. The results were presented at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference in Boston, Massachusetts recently.