Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why Facebook Facial Recognition Should Scare You

How Good is iPhoto Facial Recognition?Image by mcritz via FlickrFact, throughout my studies of this software it constantly brings me to same exact spot. This is extremely dangerous for anyone who uses this tech. I know of several people who have been victims in the past. Not just from ex's but also many who have been raped or involved with very bad organizations that could bring serous harm to themselves or their families.
I had recently joined Google Plus as well. Up until they brought out a Real name policy.
You can see it here.
Yet so many people on there are helping pushing this idea, totally ignoring the dangers this involves to people like I mention about. I'm not talking a couple of people, I mean thousands are supporting the idea of real names and calling those who don't use them Trolls. This shows me a lot about how misinformed the general public is about what they are pushing.
At this point I'm find Google plus to be even more dangerous to people than Facebook is. Those who know me, know that's a big deal for me to say. Here is more info to check out as well.

Why Facebook Facial Recognition Should Scare You

COLUMN: Facebook threatens to make your face your identity and connect it to any other information you give to the social network.

You might think Facebook’s facial recognition feature isn’t so bad right now.  After all, it’s only an auto-suggestion among friends to tag your photo.  Also, you can ‘opt out’ of this function (i.e. not allow Facebook to auto-suggest your name to your friends).
However, the real danger is in the existence of Facebook’s facial identity database.
Why is that bad? Consider this scenario.
A bunch of protestors march down the main street in the capital city.  The secret police takes a photo of the group. They identify these individuals through Facebook’s recognition system.   Next morning, they round these people up and ‘disappear’ them.
But wait a minute, wouldn’t Facebook refuse to divulge that information?  That’s probably true, but it doesn’t mean governments can’t access it.
When Facebook facial recognition gears up, governments can easily infiltrate Facebook networks with moles, especially considering the indiscriminate way many Facebook users accept friend request.
In fact, the moles don’t even have to be real people; the US government is already successfully tracking suspected criminals through fake Facebook accounts.
There is also straight up hacking, which repressive governments are not shy to do. Finally, ten years from now, who knows how cooperative Facebook will become towards heavy-handed regimes?
While opting out of Facebook’s features protects you from moles, it won’t protect you from hacking and Facebook choosing to turn over your information.
I used repressive government regimes as an example, but this applies to all sorts of people, organizations, and situations. 
Before, you couldn’t be identified as long as you don’t provide your name or don’t leave any ID.  Now, you could be through a simple picture of you taken by a camera phone.  From there, your phone number, address, email, place of employment, the identities of your family members, and any other information you give to Facebook could be accessed.
The point is that Facebook is building a facial database that’s far from secure.  Ironically, it’s an issue of ‘opting in’ in the physical space. 
In modern society, it’s necessary to have identifications.  Before, you control whether or not you identify yourself in the physical world.  Now, if Facebook has its way, it’ll only take the showing of your face.
Now take the Real Name added to this technology. It seems I'm not the only one that went through this. Yet Thousand of people still don't see the danger in having your Real name attached to your Real Photo with Facial Recognition open to the public World Wide?
Here's danah boyd in very good form, explaining why "Real Name" policies like the one Google has rammed down Google Plus users' throats (and like the insanely naive one that Randi Zuckerberg would like to foist on the entire Internet) are an abuse of power: Over and over again, people keep pointing to Facebook as an example where “real names” policies work. This makes me laugh hysterically. One of the things that became patently clear to me in my fieldwork is that countless teens who signed up to Facebook late into the game chose to use pseudonyms or nicknames. What’s even more noticeable in my data is that an extremely high percentage of people of color used pseudonyms as compared to the white teens that I interviewed. Of course, this would make sense…
The people who most heavily rely on pseudonyms in online spaces are those who are most marginalized by systems of power. “Real names” policies aren’t empowering; they’re an authoritarian assertion of power over vulnerable people. These ideas and issues aren’t new (and I’ve even talked about this before), but what is new is that marginalized people are banding together and speaking out loudly. And thank goodness.
Again now take a good long read at this technology and what it can do. Here is a pdf file you can save for future use.
Yes even more.

Privacy Risks Increase as Facial Recognition Technology Improves
By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Facial recognition is an Internet feature which is growing in popularity. But while Facebook and Google (News - Alert) are expanding facial recognition options – researchers from Carnegie Mellon University are warning about the dangers it poses to privacy.

Several Carnegie Mellon researchers were able to ID some one-third of the subjects they tested, using a photo and facial-recognition technology from Google.
Alarmingly, one of lead researchers, Alessandro Acquisti, said that 27% of the time, using data from the subjects’ Facebook (News - Alert) profiles, they could correctly identify the first five digits of the subject’s Social Security numbers, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
“Two experiments demonstrated the ability of identifying strangers online (on a dating site where individuals protect their identities by using pseudonyms) and offline (in a public space), based on photos made publicly available on a social network site,” Acquisti wrote on his website. “A third … experiment illustrated the ability of inferring strangers' personal or sensitive information (their interests and Social Security numbers) from their faces, by combining face recognition, data mining algorithms, and statistical re-identification techniques.”
The results of the study raise many issues on “the future of privacy in an ‘augmented’ reality world in which online and offline data will seamlessly blend,” he said.

Be sure to check out all the links about for everything said in these article. If you haven't been paying attention to this stuff. You may want to start and begin taking action against this tech being used against your rights and privacy.
Still not convinced? Yes there is even more. A lot more to come. Be sure to click on the home page above to see even more.
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