Friday, July 2, 2010

Facebook and Facial Recognition

I just read an article about Facebook's new Facial Recognition.  My first thought, SCARY.  Very Big Brother sounding.

Its not entirely clear what they intend to do with it.   For now it says that it will be used to help people tag friends in an album.  Which sounds harmless enough.

I think the scary part comes in when you think about what they could do with it.  Imagine if they could ID everyone in every photo posted to Facebook.  They would know who was in the photo together.  And while they already know who's friends with who on Facebook, this seems more invasive.  There is a difference in a friend I know and trust tagging me in an a photo and a machine tagging me. 

I can't quite put my finger on it exactly, but it just feels like that with this type of technology they are invading a personal space that they shouldn't.  A personal space that they have invaded before and don't seem to understand the boundaries.

I hope there is a privacy setting for this.


fraserwood said...

Hi LJ, I know what you mean and facebook's growth seems to rely on the advancement of increasingly invasive technologies. But I think its more a by-product of our age; an age that is increasingly less privacy-conscious. That's not to say its ok, but simply that its part of our culture now and its not going away.

I think the key is awareness and behaviour adjustment. People should be explicitly informed of exactly how social media services are dealing with their content. The more they are aware, the more they can adjust their behvaiour to protect themselves.

Should we really adjust our behaviour? I think yes, just in the same way that we don't wander naked in our yard when our neighbours are outside!

In that instance we don't complain to the government to get bigger fences, we simply keep our clothes on.

So I think on facebook, we simply have to learn these new etiquettes, we need to learn how to "keep our clothes on" online.

Thus, if we do adapt does still matter if its a friend tagging us, or a machine? I'm not sure it does.

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