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Facebook Facial Recognition Under Scrutiny In Norway

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the stepford-objects-for-a-different-reason dept.

Facebook 29

Qedward writes "Certainly not the first country to raise concerns, but Facebook's facial recognition feature will now be investigated by the Norwegian Data Protection Agency. Last year, Facebook added the ability to use facial recognition technology to help to tag images as a default feature to users worldwide. Ove Skåra, communications manager at the Norwegian Data Protection Agency or Datatilsynet said: 'Facial recognition, is a technology that it is important to have critical view of, and see how it is actually used.' Outside of Europe, U.S. Senator Al Franken, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's privacy subcommittee, called on Facebook to turn off the feature by default in July."

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29 comments

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Fjirst Pjost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40930351)

This post has been shitted on by the Goatse. Yes he shits with his ass stretched.

Why is it harmful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40930361)

I don't see the problem with it. It's not like privacy exists in the first place.

Re:Why is it harmful? (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40931375)

I don't see the problem with it. It's not like privacy exists in the first place.

Not anymore. But some people want it back, or at least to make privacy optional again. So, there you have your problem.

Re:Why is it harmful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40936595)

Privacy of the sort people are talking about here never actually existed.

The only thing that has changed is the amount of effort required to compile useful quantities of information that was always available.

Stop the presses! (0)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40930411)

I finally agree with Al Franken on something.

Re:Stop the presses! (0, Troll)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40930525)

How much do we want the government to limit consumer and commercial access to technology? Remember this is tech the government already uses.

Re:Stop the presses! (4, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40930607)

Please explain to me how setting the switch to the "off" position by default limits consumer access to the technology.

Rand(om) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40931555)

What you are really asking is, "Should there be any limits, to anything, for anyone?"

You sound like a libertarian, and the answer is still, "Yes!" That's why the founding fathers were so enamored with the word, "reasonable." They were into thought experiments before Einstein proved their worth to world by helping us develop the Nuclear Regulatory Agency.

Just because you own something doesn't mean it's a good idea to use it solely to your own best advantage without considering the consequences to others, Mr. Paul.

Re:Stop the presses! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40931803)

I don't want government to limit consumer access to tech at all, but I certainly want them to keep a firm regulatory grip on what the 1% can do to fuck over, exploit, and damage the 99%. You don't become a billionaire by being altruistic. We need fewer laws that limit you, more that limit corporations.

Hmmm.... (2)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40930419)

If I'm not mistaken, doesn't FB learn what you look like based on photos that you've been tagged in?

So couldn't you, for example, consistently mistag yourself (or even a complete stranger) if you wanted to confuse it? Oh, sure, your friends might wonder why Facebook keeps suggesting that you get tagged whenever a picture of the president's dog shows up, but...

Re:Hmmm.... (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40930699)

I believe that's the case, yes, but it might be harder than that to fool it. It's likely that it ignores things that don't look like human faces when building its model, to weed out the "joke" tags, like when someone tags an inanimate object as one of their friends. So if you kept tagging a dog, it might discount those data points. You'd probably have to consistently mistag another human face as you, and ideally the same person (if you tag a bunch of different people as you it might discount those as spurious tags also).

Re:Hmmm.... (1)

pittaxx (2003818) | more than 2 years ago | (#40931417)

Well, considering how "advanced" facial recognition is these days, I'd say it's just a matter of finding the right dog, which would pass their filters...

Re:Hmmm.... (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40931389)

That only works if all your friends cooperate.

Re:Hmmm.... (2)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40931395)

Or, if you're serious about privacy, just don't use facebook or don't upload any photos of yourself.

Re:Hmmm.... (2)

pittaxx (2003818) | more than 2 years ago | (#40931465)

You don't have to upload photos of yourself - there are always those school photos that pop up (where you would offend a bunch of people if you untag yourself) or random photos by other people you didn't even notice being taken... I'd say not using facebook is the only way to protect your privacy, unless you live in a deserted island.

Re:Hmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40938255)

I'd say not using facebook is the only way to protect your privacy, unless you live in a deserted island.

...which still doesn't stop people from uploading pictures you're in and tagging you in them. Maybe we should try sending a DMCA takedown notice when someone uploads a picture of us? Say they're infringing our copyright on our appearance?

Re:Hmmm.... (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40946667)

You worry about offending people that publicly distribute photographs of yourself without permission? I think you've got your priorities wrong.

You can even disallow being tagged on facebook (it requests your confirmation, and you can just deny every request).

Re:Hmmm.... (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40938839)

If you create an account it will immediately suggest people you might know when you first log in. That suggests that Facebook is already building shadow profiles of people based on names mentioned and unknown faces in photographs.

Re:Hmmm.... (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40939075)

I think the earier explanation, is that those profile's oweners submited YOUR address book to facebook, so as soon as you registered, facebook already knew that you were in their address book.

Re:Hmmm.... (1)

Tore S B (711705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40931769)

Yeah, but that kind of defeats the point of Facebook's extremely powerful photo sharing systems, though.

Re:Hmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40934545)

Who cares? Facebook certainly didn't ask our permission to be included in that photo sharing system.

Horse Head Mask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40930439)

24 hours a day I wear that thing!

Norwegian here (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | more than 2 years ago | (#40930783)

But Datatilsynet themselves want to survey anything that is posted on the internet by Norwegians. This does not make sense.

Re:Norwegian here (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40933613)

Norwegian here who actually studies shit, but Datatilsynet is actually the agency who has been most strongly critical towards the EU directive and is one of the leading governmental institutions in the world when it comes to protecting personal privacy. The privacy directive that was crafted at Oslo University in the late 1970's on the request of the parliament, was used as the basis for Norway's digital privacy laws and served as a template for many other European countries.

Basically you're full of shit and have no idea about what the amazing institution really stands for.

Bæsj (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40930885)

Tiss. Fis. Rompehull og sæd :D

Americans just don't understand Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40931255)

Americans just don't understand Europe, that is obvious with their business practices, or lack of ethics and respect in their business dealings and treatment of employees and customers and their personal information.

That is why most American companies fail in Europe and pull out, except the ones in Dublin to get their corporation tax breaks and laundering money about.

Frankly I would say to Ireland, tax those companies to the hilt. So what if they leave, they fucked your privacy and economy anyway, you have nothing more to lose. You already lost your dignity to American and Global corporations.

Slippery... (0)

wermske (1781984) | more than 2 years ago | (#40933397)

...and then some innovative spin takes the technology to previously unthunk depths. Digital determination of:

Terrorist Potential
Religiosity, OMG!
Sexual Orientation or Proclivity
Educational Capacity

The Sex Industry, Homeland Security, Legal Education, and Shepherded Belief have one thing in common, abject disregard for pragmatism. Facial recognition will eventually follow the yellow-brick garden path to televangelizing-waterboarded-case-method-gone-wild !

Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40936353)

Fuck Facebook.

First Apple, now FB (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40943867)

The Norwegian Data Protection Authority is now led by Bjørn Erik Thon. Thon was the leader of the Norwegian Consumer Council which in 2007 outlawed Apple's iTunes store for it's DRM, as noted by Slashdot: http://apple.slashdot.org/story/07/01/25/2341240/norway-outlaws-itunes

He succeeded back then.

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