Last updated on April 23, 2018 by Dotsquares
By now, we have all heard of Facebook’s recent and rather substantial PR nightmare, in which huge amounts of data obtained through the social network was used by Cambridge Analytica, sparking concerns amongst Facebook users fearing for their online privacy. Following the revelations, Facebook’s creator, Mark Zuckerberg, was questioned by the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
During the trial, Zuckerberg was asked various questions involving his company and their position on using and sharing data. However, during the event, something went amiss. The underrated feature which really puts the ‘Face’ into ‘Facebook’ has only now recently been called into question, regarding its access to our personal information.
Facebook users are aware of the ‘tagging’ or ‘tag suggestions’ feature, it’s a great way of getting your friends to see the moment you captured, which is harmless and even rather sweet. Zuckerberg, as well as his technical specialists, really pioneered this facial recognition technology to give their website a memorable, not to mention impressive, USP. Facebook ‘recognises’ who is in the picture, through matching face signatures by going through the face templates, in order to find the person in the picture.
However, the fact it automatically has access to your image and your face, is what Facebook is being criticised over, so much that in California, Facebook is facing a class action lawsuit.
It could be suggested that a class action lawsuit against a company as big as Facebook is a bit overboard, but people aren’t happy about the fact the feature doesn’t need consent to work. This is the main criticism regarding their facial recognition ‘tag’ function, so the prosecutors do have a good argument for why Facebook is in the wrong.
The fact that Facebook has information we haven’t necessarily allowed it to have, is bad enough, but it’s even more worrying considering its recent past of organisations, such as Cambridge Analytica, being able to obtain users’ data.
It’s safe to say that Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of Facebook have some tough weeks ahead sorting this calamity out…
Facial recognition doesn’t need consent to work
Information on Facebook’s Face recognition function