×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Facebook Facial Recognition Raises New Privacy Concerns

CmdrTaco posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-i-have-a-pimple dept.

Facebook 159

c0lo writes "Now might be a good time to check your Facebook privacy settings as many Facebook users are reporting that the site has enabled the face recognition in the last few days without giving users any notice. Once again, Facebook seems to be sharing personal information by default, instead on users having to 'opt-in'. Some other comments and an interesting reaction from Google and how to get around/disable it."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

159 comments

How This Happens: (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374494)

Facebook Admin 1: It's like they'll just keep coming back, keep using our services, no matter what we do to them.

Facebook Admin 2: Strange. Might as well take advantage of it while it lasts. Let's share more of their data by default then.

Re:How This Happens: (3, Insightful)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374600)

This is proof that you either do not work in IT or you are at the bottom of the totem pole. Admins don't make very many decisions. Admins find problems and fix them after they have approval from their managers. I have yet worked for a company that has let their Admins make a decision anywhere that big on their own.

This was an IN YOUR FACE managerial action!

On a side note, it also proves why people are stupid and perfectly explains why everyone keeps electing liars into office. After a couple hundred years of recorded modern history nothing new is under the sun. Politicians can flat out tell their followers that they are not taking bribes with $100 bills falling out of their stuffed pockets and the followers believe.

Yeehaw!!!!

Re:How This Happens: (3, Funny)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374782)

This is proof that you either do not work in IT or you are at the bottom of the totem pole.

If you want to nitpick, I have the perfect solution. Copy my previous post into a text editor. Substitute "Manager" for "Admin". Now you have your own perfect copy and can move on to the point I was making about their userbase.

Re:How This Happens: (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375534)

That works for me! but you have to admit, nitpicking is entertaining!

Re:How This Happens: (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376338)

That works for me! but you have to admit, nitpicking is entertaining!

Hah. I won't deny having done it myself, though it's more appropriate on some occasions than it is on others.

Re:How This Happens: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375698)

Admins are like jedi we just let you think it was your idea.

To bad those mind tricks don't work when it comes to getting a raise.

Re:How This Happens: (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374846)

You don't know how right you are.
Check out these IM's from Zuckerberg himself [businessinsider.com]:

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don't know why.

Zuck: They "trust me"

Zuck: Dumb fucks.

Re:How This Happens: (3, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374908)

They have already apologised for it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13693791 [bbc.co.uk]

My bet is they planned to just turn it on and apologise later because it would still be more profitable than trying to get everyone to switch it on voluntarily. Also some great free publicity for their new feature.

And the downside is? (5, Insightful)

paro12 (142901) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374638)

I get that once again Facebook has opted people into a new feature, but I'm not sure I get what all the anger is about. As far as I can tell, all this does is allow people who you have already accepted as friends to make it easier to tag their photos... Please somebody explain the downside to me. Its not like the same people couldn't have tagged you anyway, they just would have had to do it manually. I know I for one am excited by this since it makes the process of uploading pictures that much quicker.

Re:And the downside is? (2)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374686)

How about because no matter how benign you believe some piece of information is, should you NOT have the right to dictate how its is used?

Just saying!!!

Re:And the downside is? (2)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374810)

Once you've voluntarily handed that data to Facebook, then no, you don't get to dictate how it's used. Check the EULA. Hate to play devil's advocate, but that's the way it works, sorry. Even if somebody else shares data that bears your exact likeness, your issue is with the person that shared it, not Facebook. I'm not a huge FB fan, but I'm not sure they're stepping outside their bounds here, even though it feels uncomfortable.

Just saying!!!

Re:And the downside is? (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375452)

I agree with you, I was only trying to explain to the other poster that despite agreeing to the EULA that no one reads because they can't be bothered to do, people still are going to want to make that decision for themselves.

Even if 80% of the people want to do something they are still going to want to make the decision for them self instead of a suit. It's basic human nature.

Remember the housing bubble and they called the lender "Predatory"? Well they should have read their contract and because there are so many idiots in the world we all get to pay for it. I do not use FB period, nor any other social site because I want to own my property and I will NOT give them that power. I own my PC and all the data on it, but I do not own my Cell Phone because they want to control it to nickel and dime me every chance they get. Therefore I store nothing personal on my mobile devices other than Names and #'s because that is already public info by virtue of placing a call.

Re:And the downside is? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375692)

Actually, Facebook allows you to remove you name from tags. It sends me an email when someone tags me and I then go remove the tag. I don't get many notifications of this because most people don't seem to bother doing the tags. However if the tags are automatically offered to people, then I will get more notifications and have to do more work to go delete the tags. So, I turned the feature off a couple of weeks ago when it first showed up in the profile.

Re:And the downside is? (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375020)

You can still remove tags apparently. What they are doing is using technology that makes something 95% of their users are doing easier, namely uploading pictures and then tagging all their friends in it. I don't see the problem.

Re:And the downside is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375434)

> How about because no matter how benign you believe some piece of information is, should you NOT have the right to dictate how its is used?

No, you should not. Information wants to be free, and we don't believe in imaginary property.

Re:And the downside is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36374712)

Scanning random pictures from the Internet and searching for known Facebook users. If their recognition DB gets leaked, suddenly photos of crowds can personally identify the people standing in the background.

Re:And the downside is? (4, Insightful)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374814)

But facebook can already do that - this isn't related to what facebook may or may not be doing behind the scenes.

Any third party with facial recognition software can also do this, but they'll need access to the people's profiles first.

And that's where a major change may be. Say you 'friend' a certain festival organizer because hey, if you friend them, you can keep updated on developments, or you get a discount, or whatever.
So you go to that festival, you have a good time, you also - unfortunately - get shitfaced.
The festival organizer takes pictures during the event, and posts them online.
Suddenly, you're not just some random guy in a festival picture that, albeit not impossible to find, requires a certain level of effort. No, now you're a tagged guy, and one needs but click through to get to your profile.

Now, yes.. you -chose- to friend the festival organizers., and by going to the festival you, implicitly or explicitly, agreed to photos of the festival to be used in publication, and so forth and so on.
The question is, did you knowingly and willingly also allow them to - automatically or otherwise - tag you in those photos?
The "knowingly" would certainly need scrutinizing, as the article seems to imply that facebook enabled by default and didn't particular let you know (I'm sure it can be found somewhere and you're supposed to check that every 10 minutes for whatever consent-who-needs-consent change they implemented this time) - and with it, the "willingly" part.

Re:And the downside is? (4, Interesting)

second_coming (2014346) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374722)

The correct way of implementing this would be the next time you log in it asks whether it is ok to turn this feature on (with a proper explanation of the pros and cons of doing so). That way the average user of Facebook would be able to make an informed decision as to whether they want it on or off.

Re:And the downside is? (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374902)

I get that once again Facebook has opted people into a new feature, but I'm not sure I get what all the anger is about.

So, let me give you a thought experiment.

Say I don't have a Facebook account now (which I don't). But, say, Facebook has turned on facial recognition for all of the existing users (which they have).

So, this weekend if I go downtown to where all of the bars and nightlife are, and I start snapping pictures of people doing various things. Quietly, and unobtrusively mind you.

Now, say I create a facebook account with false profile information, solely so I can upload pictures of people I don't know doing various (and possibly stupid) things. You're no longer some random, mostly anonymous guy in a picture which could have been anywhere ... you're Bob from Detroit. And that guy with the crack pipe is your friend Dave and he's got an outstanding warrant.

By Facebook opting you in to having facial recognition done on you ... how many random people I have never met would be covered by them doing facial recognition on my pictures and associating them with you?

They opted you into something which potentially has fairly broad privacy implications. And, since they have it, the governments might subpoena them for the underlying data so they can feed it into their own system that keep track of citizens (and, they'll make sure Facebook doesn't tell anyone).

Is my example somewhat contrived and a little extreme? Absolutely. Do I think it's a plausible scenario? Sadly, yes.

The point is, they enable a lot of information gathering about people that can happen without any knowledge or consent. Which is what Facebook does every time they add a new feature. And, which is why I won't use Facebook.

Re:And the downside is? (4, Insightful)

paro12 (142901) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375076)

So, this weekend if I go downtown to where all of the bars and nightlife are, and I start snapping pictures of people doing various things. Quietly, and unobtrusively mind you.

Now, say I create a facebook account with false profile information, solely so I can upload pictures of people I don't know doing various (and possibly stupid) things. You're no longer some random, mostly anonymous guy in a picture which could have been anywhere ... you're Bob from Detroit. And that guy with the crack pipe is your friend Dave and he's got an outstanding warrant.

If this is the case, then yes I have a huge problem with it. But thats not the way facebook works (yet)...By my reading, it will work as with most other aspects of Facebook. If you have set it up so only friends can view your profile information, pictures, etc. then in only those peoples uploads will you be autotagged. If you allow friends of friends, or groups you belong to to see your information then those peoples uploads will contain your data, etc.

Re:And the downside is? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375284)

If this is the case, then yes I have a huge problem with it. But thats not the way facebook works (yet)

Well, given all of the news coverage from Facebook over the last few years ... I simply don't trust them to not suddenly make this information public in another few months. Not a little. They have a repeated pattern of deciding all of your information should be public ... the solution is to give them nothing.

And, really, it would be naive to think they haven't done it in the background and even if they haven't (yet) decided to show information to un-linked persons ... when the DHS shows up to them with a subpoena and a picture of someone and says "give us everything you have on this and if you tell anybody you go to jail".

Even the governments who claim to be bastions of freedom and democracy (I think we all know who I mean) have been shady about this kind of stuff. So, you'll forgive me if I have no trust whatsoever for Facebook in this regard.

Hell, didn't Google just decide not to roll out facial recognition because it opened up too many privacy issues?

Regardless of what it looks like to a given user, there's likely far more information sitting on Facebook's servers than they'll admit to. I think someone should start stalking Zuckerburg and his family and friends to be sure as much of their private information is made public .. that's more or less what they're doing to everyone else.

Re:And the downside is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36376234)

Well they just need one good law suite to stop that nonsenses.

Re:And the downside is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375548)

If this is the case, then yes I have a huge problem with it. But thats not the way facebook works (yet)...By my reading, it will work as with most other aspects of Facebook. If you have set it up so only friends can view your profile information, pictures, etc. then in only those peoples uploads will you be autotagged. If you allow friends of friends, or groups you belong to to see your information then those peoples uploads will contain your data, etc.

Let's get real. You're tagged either way, it's just a question of whether or not the tag is displayed to the public.

Evil as the implications might be - you now have to worry about whether your meatspace associations (as well as your online ones) might negatively impact your profile with everyone from HomeSec to your health insurance company - there's nothing really illegal going on. If anything, DHS would be negligent in its duties if it weren't hoovering this data from FB on a real-time basis.

Re:And the downside is? (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375982)

By Facebook opting you in to having facial recognition done on you ... how many random people I have never met would be covered by them doing facial recognition on my pictures and associating them with you?

None, because presumably none of them are friends with you.

Typical Slashdot knee-jerk reaction.

Re:And the downside is? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376210)

None, because presumably none of them are friends with you.

Typical Slashdot knee-jerk reaction.

How so? Just because they're not my friends, doesn't mean that the facial recognition won't attempt to assign whatever token or ID to a given face it's going to do.

They've already done the recognition at that point, and it's very likely if it matches anybody in their database, that record is present.

They may not show it to me, but it's been done. It's not like the algorithm is going to say "well, I'm only going to compare this face to faces in your group of friends".

Based on some actual knowledge of this, can you say that it won't be possible to match random people from a picture of a crowd? Or are you merely going to trust that it doesn't, and that even if it does, they wouldn't ever do that? Given the number of people with Facebook accounts, you could probably start taking random crowd pics and the technique would likely start generating hits ... even if they won't display them to me, behind the scenes I would be completely unsurprised if some part of the machine goes "bing" and says "hey, that's Alice from over here" and quietly makes a note of it.

I may be paranoid ... but you may be naive.

Re:And the downside is? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36376432)

Except you cannot tag anyone unless they are already your friend, even with the new facial recognition upgrade.

So... again, what's the problem?

Re:And the downside is? (0)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376826)

Except you cannot tag anyone unless they are already your friend, even with the new facial recognition upgrade.

So... again, what's the problem?

Read the second to last [cnn.com] link in TFS:

Facebook's more than 500 million users have been automatically included in the database, but the company is allowing each person to choose whether to be identified by toggling a pane in the account's privacy settings.

The tool would still scan that person's face and figure out who it is, but it won't display that information. People can still manually tag friends.

Whether or not it allows me to tag it, or even see it ... the recognition has been done, and is likely recorded in the system.

Which means all of the potential for abuse has been done, and recorded, just not displayed.

So when DHS shows up and wants the unfettered database so they can take random snaps of crowds and more or less have Facebook do the work for them of identifying everyone ... it's too fucking late to worry about the fact that when I post pictures of strangers, they're already being run through facial recognition.

And, given that Zuckerburg is a lying sack of shit, and Facebook doesn't actually adhere to anything like a privacy policy ... they'll either turn this on and make it public by default, or they'll make it available to governments or corporations if it suits them.

If you don't see a problem with a web-site being able to gather far more information about people than they realize ... fine, live in ignorance. But don't act like there's nothing bad that can happen from this.

I'll Take It One Step Further (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 2 years ago | (#36377074)

My first reaction was the typical, "Oh, great. Where's the privacy setting on this, because I'm killing this, ASAP." But on second thought, I'd much rather have this feature enabled.

With this feature, I'm more likely to notice if someone uploads a picture of me, and then I can take a look at it and make sure it's something I'm OK with being posted. Without the feature, if someone uploads a photo of me and doesn't tag it, I'll probably never know. But the photo will be out there, and there's nothing to stop someone else from using facial recognition to tie the photo to me.

So I'm leaving this enabled.

Recognise *THIS*, motherfuckers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36374664)

Recognise THIS [archive.org], motherfuckers!

Re:Recognise *THIS*, motherfuckers! (2)

guppysap13 (1225926) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374778)

I never thought I'd see the day goatse might actually be a positive contribution to a discussion...

Facebook account for IT pros? (3, Interesting)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374708)

This could also be a Slashdot poll: How many IT pros (Web designers do not count, sorry) do you know who have a FB account?
Personally, I do not know any ...

Re:Facebook account for IT pros? (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374772)

I don't personally have an FB account ... but I do personally know literally dozens of professionals in the IT/consulting industry with FB accounts.

I fear we may be increasingly in the minority for this.

Hell, I know people who use their FB account to ask peers technical questions ... just throw out a general "anybody know this?".

Re:Facebook account for IT pros? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376508)

Hell, I know people who use their FB account to ask peers technical questions ... just throw out a general "anybody know this?".

Isn't that what IRC is for?
That's where I go when I'm bedeviled by a regular expression that refuses to do my bidding.

Re:Facebook account for IT pros? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374826)

I do web design/programming (among many other things) and have no social media accounts.

I know my boss is on Facebook, but he says he uses it as little as possible (IT manager, former programmer). He has no other social media accounts.

I can't think of any other people I know in IT with social media accounts.

Re:Facebook account for IT pros? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36374840)

I have to have one because none of my NON-IT friends and family use anything else to keep in contact.

Re:Facebook account for IT pros? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375366)

How about a more direct poll: Do you have a Facebook account yes/no.

And the next one, same thing but for Twitter.

Re:Facebook account for IT pros? (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376876)

I had a facebook account, deleted it, and created a new one. I maintain it primarily as a way to warn many of my friends about the dangers of using facebook.

Made a facebook account last night (2)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374746)

I broke down, gave up, and made a facebook account last night. Apparently that's what I have to do if I want to keep up with my friends, rather than just sit home, alone but for Warcraft and Netflix.

Their security options were extensive and relatively easy to navigate. It did seem that they were asking the same questions over and over, where they could have just asked me once about some things and been done with it. I could see that someone not so good at diligently following each and every link on the page could accidentally leave some setting at default.

Overall it seemed fine, as long as I keep apps turned off. That I can live with.

Re:Made a facebook account last night (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374912)

I had an account at one time. You have to check those privacy settings every so often because they can change without you being aware. I got sick of it and told my friends that they can always IM me.

Re:Made a facebook account last night (4, Funny)

Dynetrekk (1607735) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374946)

I know you're honest. You can't have been a facebook user for more than one night :) They'll reset and modify your settings soon enough, young one.

Re:Made a facebook account last night (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375072)

Why do you need Facebook to keep up with your friends? You could try actually spending time with them, talking to them, etc.

Re:Made a facebook account last night (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376456)

Why do you need Facebook to keep up with your friends? You could try actually spending time with them, talking to them, etc.

As one of the last remaining hold-outs not using Facebook ... it's actually surprising to hear from friends just how much they see updates from other friends. They can pretty much tell you what a bunch of people all did over the last few weeks, because they see the status updates. They share pics of their kids, or what have you.

When I get together with them, it's like "so, what have you been doing" ... whereas the rest of them are more like "oh, I saw you did x, how was that?".

If all of your friends are using Facebook as the primary way keep people up to date ... sometimes you find yourself being a little out of the loop. Not that I'm going to open a Facebook account ... but sometimes it's hard not to notice this stuff.

Hell, occasionally I hear my mother complaining about some of the pointless and inane stuff that the rest of my family puts on their Facebook pages. When someone in their 70's is aware of it ... it's hard to act like you're not aware of how widespread usage of Facebook actually is.

Re:Made a facebook account last night (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#36377096)

This. (I hate using that, but apparently it's the only way to get the idea across in this day and age that I agree with your post and find it rings very true.)

However, I don't generally mind. So I'm a little 'left out' because people have to ask me what I've been up to. Big deal, I can tell them right there and then. If that means they stare in boredom until finally something I did interests them (which otherwise they would have filtered from status updates), so be it. If nothing else, maybe it'll open them up to my other interests as well and not just the ones that overlap with theirs in the venn diagram of life.

What I do mind is when they come to rely on those status updates as some sort of legitimate form of communication for the things that really, really matter.

I.e. asking what you believe to be a reasonably close friend - albeit from a distance since they moved to a different town - how they're doing, and they respond that they missed you at the wedding. Once you regain your traction of thought from the bafflement, you congratulate him and then ask what happened to the wedding date 2 months from now. They reply by saying that they decided to just do a more informal wedding because the costs for the big wedding were just too high after his now-wife lost her job etc. etc. so they relocated the wedding an opening was available a few days ago and "I posted this on facebook - didn't you read it?".
Well, no, of course you didn't read it, you don't really keep up with people's facebook status messages and honestly you thought you were close enough a friend that you would be told these things directly.. an e-mail, an IM, a text message, a phone call, anything.

And the ridiculous thing is... once you realize that they didn't do that for anyone, i.e. not even for their best man, their family, etc. as long as they were on facebook... you can't even really fault them.

You can still think it's completely inane to use facebook in such a manner, but that doesn't change the fact that out of all of the people, you were the no-show.

Pretty soon people won't even bother with e-mails anymore and tell their friends to just use facebook (or twitter or whatever) because it's just so much more convenient (and, let's be honest, it is.. with all the integration into smartphones that e-mail typically lacks).

Re:Made a facebook account last night (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376502)

Why do you need Facebook to keep up with your friends? You could try actually spending time with them, talking to them, etc.

I appreciate what you're trying to do, but it's not going to work.

What you're doing there is sort of like going back in time and trying to tell the Spanish Inquisition that maybe they shouldn't torture people to death on the basis of flimsy accusations with no evidence. Yes, you're right, but they're not likely to listen.

Re:Made a facebook account last night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36376792)

Because facebook is how people make plans to spend time with each other. Cell phones are used (if you have their number, but I don't ask everyone I know for their cell number), for urgent situations. You spontaneously decide to go somewhere, and want to invite more people, or you arrived somewhere to pick someone up, and you want to let them know that you are there. Facebook is used when you have more time, a few hours, a few days, or possibly longer. I only use email to communicate with people who I am not facebook friends with, like coworkers, roommates I don't like, potential landlords, parents, etc.

Re:Made a facebook account last night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36377132)

Why do you need Facebook to keep up with your friends? You could try actually spending time with them, talking to them, etc.

Time I don't have. Preach all you want, but for most of them it's FB or nothing.

As for the privacy, well I have mixed feelings about how much I care when people bitch about Facial recognition on a site called Face Book with the motto 'connects you with family and friends' on the login page.

Re:Made a facebook account last night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36377156)

Because they are all sat at home on Facebook of course.

Re:Made a facebook account last night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375096)

But the options are constantly changing, and they make no attempt to intelligently migrate your answers to the old options to the new ones.

FB practices option churn as a policy towards getting all user options set to their defaults. i.e. your choices are merely a temporary mirage.

Re:Made a facebook account last night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36376626)

> Apparently that's what I have to do if I want to keep up with my friends

Why can't you email them? IM them? Call them on the phone? Did all those things break when Facebook was invented, or what?

Re:Made a facebook account last night (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376654)

The issue isn't that they are hard to set up once, the issue is they randomly undo themselves, change the settings and refresh everything back to default open without telling you. Now personally the way I do it I don't see a problem, I sign up, I have one generic picture of myself that people who know me would be able to recognize me, my name. I don't post anything I wouldn't be ok with my boss, girlfriend, future employers and any other person I might possibly see one day knowing.

Shit, this is what I feared (3, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374786)

My facebooktard family is always posting and tagging pics of me at family gatherings, I knew facial recognition to auto-tag people in pics was the next step...maybe next they'll make "info pages" for nonexistant users, that will practially be an "unmanned" facebook profile filled with 3rd-party information, that you can sign up to claim at any time...great...

Re:Shit, this is what I feared (2)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374934)

Hi Bob,

We just noticed that your friends and family have 4986 photos with you in it! There are embarrassing baby photos, pictures of your drunk college days and even two videos of that porno you made with that sorority girl (You might want to post on her memorial page, may she rest in peace.) too! Join today and keep everybody else from from telling what you've been up to!

Re:Shit, this is what I feared (4, Funny)

janestarz (822635) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374948)

The Person you tagged as being Jane Starz does not have a Facebook account. However: We have found these e-mail addresses, a blog, a Flickr page, twenty-nine forum accounts, pictures from their childhood and two criminal records .
[ ] Would you like to use our handy app to contact this person?
[ ] Would you like to create a Facebook page for this person and add all this data to the page with Just One Handy click?
{Submit} {Cancel} (Wait, that's actually also a submit button, but never mind. Just say yes.)

Re:Shit, this is what I feared (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376082)

One minor nitpick, buttons function as so:

{Submit} {Cancel}

OnSubmit: NoReallyJustSubmit();
OnCancel: NoReallyJustSubmit();

"Do Not Track" (1)

chub_mackerel (911522) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375288)

Yes, this is the thing that bugs me as well, about the whole concept of social media offered by companies that think information about friends/associations should be a commodity... There's no way to opt out as others provide information about you even if you don't participate.

Maybe we can get "Do Not Track" barcodes tattooed on our foreheads.

I'm half serious about this (OK, maybe not the tattoo part) -- some creative RMS or legal type needs to come up with some shrink-wrap-like default privacy opt-out agreement that subverts all this crap, in the same way that open source licenses turns copyright around.

Example: a single bar code that anyone can place on their shirt, clothes, whatever. The assumption being that any system capable of facial recognition is also capable of reading a barcode... And that the meaning of the barcode - reflected in an online "trackwrap" license - is essentially "this person can not be tracked," or more exactly, "any person/organization voluntarily tracking this person in also agreeing to the terms of the agreement posted online at www.don'ttrackmeblablabla.org"

Anyone want to take a crack at this? I'm willing to pitch in.

Re:"Do Not Track" (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375458)

The tech to do it exists. All you need is a Do Not Track system and something like a more simple, long-distance-readable QR code.

The problem is that the Do Not Track system is nothing more than a gentleman's agreement. Once a company decides to break it, it's worthless. Like a Do Not Rob sign.

Re:"Do Not Track" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375476)

> There's no way to opt out as others provide information about you even if you don't participate.

Sorry, but you can't. Information wants to be free. The marginal cost to copy information has reached zero. Like it or not, that's the nature of the world now, and not all the copyright laws in the world can change that simple fact.

Re:Shit, this is what I feared (1)

Sentrion (964745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376580)

Fact is there are people with very good reasons, both rightly and wrongly - victims and perpetrators, who still have a semi-normal family and social life, but otherwise desire to keep their personal information very private. Case in point I was once scammed out of a few thousand dollars from a person that I knew very little about. It was as if he disappeared off the face of the earth. Police considered it a civil matter and were of no help. But with a little help from Google search I was able to find more information about him, and eventually found his network of friends and family on facebook, which through just a little bit of amateur pretext and social engineering lead me directly to his front door. Pictures of him and his associates in front of various buildings came in very handy, especially with Google Streetview to verify exact locations (and this is without image recognition software). He never had any social networking account of his own, and even concealed much of his personal info from public records using various techniques that I won't go into here. I won't mention what I did to him once I found him. But were it not for Facebook and the ease of surfing through unlimited sources of information from the comfort of my desk chair without the time and expense of walking any streets or interrogating bartenders like a bad episode of Walker Texas Ranger, I, an ordinary citizen with a full time job, kids, and a tight budget, would have otherwise not even attempted such a search.

I can only hope that I never offend a mafia family or drug cartel. Staying hidden is the only defense, and increasingly impossible without fleeing to the wilderness or a third world country.

Come on, guys (1)

Kiliani (816330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374862)

I mean, after all, it is called Facebook.

But I have to give it to Zuckerberg. I am logging into Facebook much more often now - even if it is only to change my (new) privacy settings, again, and again, and again ...

Re:Come on, guys (0)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375962)

Zuckerberg is a pseudo-intelligent assbag that was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and has no qualms about stealing peoples ideas. Hes an unethical dill-bag jerk and has minimal principals. He represents the worst stereotype of a "Jew" that anti-Semitic people believe in. Im not one of them, but I would think as a Jewish person he would want to NOT be this way. I understand he now is an atheist or whatever, but god damn he is an asshole. "Im CEO Bitch" on his business cards says it all.

Re:Come on, guys (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376138)

So, he sounds like every other CEO then? And yes, God damn him .what-ever God he/she/it/tree/puma may be. Yes, even atheists (is there adeists?). Turns out, one of God's persona's is a big George Carlin fan (and others of his ilk), and well .. let say just he gets to bring the chops.

Very Small Inconvenience (3, Insightful)

curio_city (1972556) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374878)

Every time somebody tags a user in a photo, the user is notified and can untag him/herself.

The algorithm uses images that have already been tagged as X person for the reference. Tagging the wall behind you, or your pants, etc., should confuse the inputs enough to prevent good matches. This affects facebook's ability to find and recognize photos of you, which is slightly separate from other users' ability to find photos of you, since facial recognition indexing will occur even if you untag yourself or "opt out".

Re:Very Small Inconvenience (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375118)

This seems like it would make it a very good thing when people post all these grids of "funny" pictures which they then tag with their friends' names...

Re:Very Small Inconvenience (3, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375308)

Every time somebody tags a user in a photo, the user is notified and can untag him/herself.

And if somebody tags a photo of you and you are not a user (IIRC, a Facebook user can tag any picture with your name, even if you are not a Facebook user yourself)? How does Facebook notify you? How can you untag it?

Answer: you can't.

Next question, if Facebook is using facial recognition, does it work on non-users? If somebody tags a photo with the name of a non-user, will it look for other photos of that non-user and try and automatically tag them?

The scary part is that Facebook has a profile for you, even if you have never visited Facebook. Notice all those "Like" buttons on your favorite websites - unless you are never accept cookies, Facebook already has a profile built up for you just in case you decide to join sometime in the future. How nice of them!

Re:Very Small Inconvenience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36376348)

If you aren't a user, they don't tag "you". You don't exist to it. They can tag the photo with a string value which is your name, nickname, part of your name (first name last initial), etc. I don't imagine the system tries to figure out who that string value really corresponds to if they don't have an account. It just dumbly serves it up as a person who's tagged in the photo whenever someone views the photo.

Re:Very Small Inconvenience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36376362)

> The scary part is that Facebook has a profile for you, even if you have never visited Facebook. Notice all those "Like" buttons on your favorite websites

Actually no, I don't notice those buttons, because I blackhole their address blocks (3 class B's, if I recall right, although it's been a while since I set it up). I highly doubt they "have a profile for me". Where would they have obtained the data for it? I've never allowed them to have any information, and packets to or from them are routed to the bit bucket.

Does everyone not do that these days? If you give FB data, don't be surprised if they keep it. That's the nature of information: as soon as you give it away, you no longer can control what happens to it. Best to get used to that.

Maybe I'm naive, but... (1)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 2 years ago | (#36374898)

I don't really see the problem with this one. Is it so bad that my friends are allowed to know what my face looks like? Is that how scared of everything we've become? I know it's pretty crappy the way Facebook quietly defaults everything to public, but in this case I'm not quite sure what the problem is. If it's just the fact that you don't get a say in who tags you in what, that's a very very old (albeit legitimate) problem.

Re:Maybe I'm naive, but... (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375108)

Well technically, you do have control over who tags you in what (or even if tagging you is allowed at all). What you don't have control over is people uploading pictures with you in them, or general comments to that effect.

Re:Maybe I'm naive, but... (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375172)

I think it will be interesting... does it just do friends faces or all faces? Some of the group shots where I have no idea who was with me at concerts, parties, etc.. would be interesting to know who they are... ofcourse, not so cool if someone could take a picture of a random stranger and find out who their name.

Re:Maybe I'm naive, but... (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375876)

Astonishing Tribe had Recognizer, there was Face Match, think back to Operation Nobel Shield. Add in the Local Feature Analysis (LFA) vs the hinted at speed of nodal point databases and the known US populations size - public and private facial recognition is getting interesting, cheap and very fast.
Your face and someone who is a friend of a friend ... could be on a list. A one person list, a private firm or government - once they have you connected with a pic you uploaded?

Re:Maybe I'm naive, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375292)

I have many pictures of myself tagged on facebook... And many more which I have untagged myself. I police my photos and untag myself from anything that does not reflect me in a good light. I am an educator and have seen others in my field reprimanded for stupid things like having a cup that may have contained alcohol in their pictures. I don't mind if my friends upload pictures from a social gathering that I may have been at. I just ask that they not tag me if i am anywhere near something that could be construed as not professional. I don't need facebook tagging me in every picture that I am in.

Re:Maybe I'm naive, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36376690)

When you get your picture taken at a rally for a cause you think is good, maybe you can't get hired by some bigot.

Maybe get your picture taken with someone who later turns out to have a famous disease, like HIV, and suddenly can't get insurance.

Maybe you're seen at a rally for a political candidate and later you have an FBI file without having committed a crime.

These things have already happened. But by all means, you post on the facialbook all day long if you're okay with it.

Re:Maybe I'm naive, but... (1)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 2 years ago | (#36377134)

You all have valid points, but they all relate to the *existing* tagging functionality. All this new functionality does is make it slightly easier for your friends to tag you, which they're clearly putting the effort in to do anyway. They know what you look like.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36374980)

I don't get it, how is that a privacy breach? If I understand correctly, all that program does is to recognize which of your friend is on the picture and SUGGEST to tag him. It's not automatic. It's not like you need face recognition to know who's who on a picture. I know that slashdot is known to hate facebook but this is ridiculous. It probably should have been an opt-in feature but this is facebook we're talking about, what did you expect?

isn't this old? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375100)

Didn't this change happen a while ago? I haven't changed my privacy settings in months, and when I just checked, it was marked as Disabled. Thinking back, I seem to recall this being one of the things I did change whenever I last fiddled with the settings.

Social network with Facial Recognition! (4, Funny)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375128)

holy jumpin jesus! they shold have called it FACEbook... oh wait

Facial recognition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375316)

How can a website have facial recognition? Oh, it's Flash' fault, AGAIN.

Goodbye WitSec (2)

sziring (2245650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375332)

It seems the government can save money by eliminating Witness Protection now that global facial recognition is available via Facebook. It's only a matter of time before someone figures out a way to scan all users, not just friends or people that opt in.

SecretSocial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375344)

SecretSocial - where data is yours, retention is user-powered and what you share is precisely within the domain of your people.

http://secretsocial.com

Facebook Privacy Concept is Flawed... (2, Insightful)

I)_MaLaClYpSe_(I (447961) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375506)

...since it depends on the commons sense of all your friends. What could possibly go wrong?

I permanently deleted my facebook account a few weeks ago: a worm was spreading very fast through facebook and for over a week I could not notify facebook about the issue.

The worm spread via event invitations containing a link to a site that social engineered the people into copying Java script code into their browser so that it would steal their account credentials and propagate further. And facebook does not provide you with any means of contacting anybody at all, let alone from the security team! Instead, you are dependent on those buttons that let you report inappropriate messages or such. Only those event invitations did not have such buttons. I wasted dozens of hours trying to notify them about the scheme but finally gave up and deleted my account.

I learnt one thing: the privacy concept of facebook is fundamentally flawed as your own private data that you share with friends and family is dependent on the common sense of these friends. It needs only one of them to be stupid enough to follow complex procedures of copying JavaScript code because they think they could find out who viewed their profile or such to completely compromise your privacy.

I for one am outta there. And if you look closely enough, you find a hell of a lot worms and security vulnerabilities in facebook.

Re:Facebook Privacy Concept is Flawed... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375944)

the privacy concept of facebook is fundamentally flawed as your own private data that you share with friends and family is dependent on the common sense of these friends

Don't blame facebook; that principle is fundamental to security in general. If you share a secret with somebody not trustworthy (whether they're malicious, incompetent, or unknowingly compromised), the cat is out of the bag. DRM faces the same problem; how can I distribute data to people who pay me yet restrict them from redistributing it? You can't, not completely.

This won't stop entirely just because you opted out of Facebook, either. Anybody can post information about you.

What's the big deal? (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 2 years ago | (#36375640)

I was initially concerned about this until I read up on what it does. Honestly, in the scheme of things this feature is fairly benign. Anyone who who recognizes you won't need this feature to tell them who you are. You can't control what photos others are posting and what are people doing to do with this anyway, especially if you've got other privacy settings locked down.

The fact is, if you're concerned about privacy you shouldn't be on Facebook to begin with.

And from what I've been told it's quite impressive, being able to pick out people fairly accurately even from grainy and dark photos.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

mattncsu03 (1602573) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376270)

I've noticed for a while that when I set my profile picture to a group picture, it automatically tries to crop the image close to my face instead of others. Perhaps this feature has been in silent testing for months.

Fine with me, I only post boner pics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375778)

And I doubt that facebook has the technology to recognize my boner with any amount of certitude.

Sincerely,
Rep. Weiner

Facial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375822)

Facebook knows if you just got a facial? Bit personal don't u think?

Not Available in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36375850)

I'm guessing this has to go to our Privacy Commissioner before they will allow it to be turned on. Last time she got involved, it resulted in all sorts of changes to Facebook in Canada which was GREAT for privacy and a bit of a slap in the face for FB. Does the US have such a political position?

What do you mean, without any warning? (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376170)

without giving users any notice

Um, http://www.facebook.com/facebook [facebook.com] If you don't follow what they are doing, you can't say that they gave you no notice. In particular - https://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=467145887130 [facebook.com]

Its clearly posted so anyone can see what's up

No-way-Opt-out (1)

poind3xt3r (890661) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376180)

"The tool would still scan that person's face and figure out who it is, but it won't display that information. People can still manually tag friends."

Looks as if there is no way to REALLY [cnn.com] opt out. I wonder if the same applies to all their other privacy settings?

A good thing (2)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 2 years ago | (#36376334)

All the three-letter-agencies that have access to the database almost certainly have been running facial recognition on it for years. Making it visible to users doesn't make it much worse, if anything it's good. Maybe people will start thinking about the consequences of uploading photos of themselves, their friends, their families, their homes etc.

Or maybe not.

No privacy by default (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36376386)

If you use facebook you agree to give up privacy in any form. Who still doesn't get? It was designed as a data capture tool.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...