Facebook’s new feature will tell you when someone uploads a picture of you
Facebook and Data collection
How long before social media networks know too much about us? From food preferences to location tracking and now facial recognition? Facebook wants to alert you when a photo of you has been uploaded, open to view publicly, especially when you haven’t been tagged or aren’t friends with the person concerned. For this, Facebook claims to use pattern of pixels from photos you have uploaded and have been tagged in. It will then create a virtual template to be used only for detecting similar pixel pattern among other photos uploaded.
Why do we need to hand over such data to our social media handles? Facebook says that this will allow people to control the privacy of their online presence, especially when they’re not aware that a picture of them has been uploaded by someone else. This will also help take down a lot of impersonators who masquerade as people you may know. It is often paradoxical, concerns regarding privacy. To protect privacy, one needs to concede privacy to someone else.
Another reason for implementing such recognition is cited to helping visually impaired people. Facebook generates alternative text describing the photo making it easier to identify.
Facebook has detailed their intentions and ease of enabling this technology for personal use in their newsroom blog post. It promises that once a user opts out of using this service, the digital template will be deleted and not used for any other purpose. Facebook has been fined for using data of its users in the past for ad targeting by the Spanish Government for €1.2 million ($1.44 million).
Moments app debacle
When Facebook released the Moments app, it utilized Facebook’s facial recognition technology to identify faces and group photos. The Irish Government came hard on Facebook with longstanding battles. They were then asked to refrain from using the technology in the region.
Tech giants have faced issues, especially in the EU over privacy concerns. Consequently, the facial recognition feature will not be rolled out in EU and Canada for the moment.
People often use Facebook when they sign up for different third-party apps. Will apps be allowed to ask for such permission as well? Currently, there is no comment on that. It seems like Facebook is first trying to implement it on its own site successfully. You will be able to easily turn this feature on/off from your smartphone as well. Its provided as a simple switch instead of a host of features to enable/disable.
Let us know what you think about this feature and the privacy concerns around it. Having Instagram and Whatsapp in its arsenal, Facebook definitely has tons of data over other social networks, which in contrast, are also less intrusive.