DecryptedTech

Saturday04 February 2023

Facebook Buys Face.com, Gets a Database of Faces and Raises Even More Concerns about Privacy


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Facebook-logoFacebook has finally bought facial recognition company Face.com. For those of you that do not know Face.com are the people behind the facial recognition API in Facebook and their Apps for both iOS and Android. This technology (that is also used in a few other apps) has brought about a wave of privacy concerns (as is tagging of any kind really). It is known that Face.com stores face information in a database and is capable up dating facial information as more pictures of an individual are tagged. This can be used to create a very accurate likeness model of someone regardless of what they do to change or conceal their appearance (with the exception of radical plastic surgery or prosthetics).

In fact the facial recognition aspect of Facebook got them into trouble with Germany, the UK, and Ireland at one point where they felt it was an extreme invasion of privacy. The issue at hand is the use of the database that we talked about before. As soon as you are tagged in a picture it ties your name to your face in that picture. From that point forward you can automatically be identified in any new picture that you are in using the facial recognition software.

Now Facebook opted everyone into this service when they rolled it out last year in June so you have already been tagged and added into the database. There is simply no way around it. Facebook’s purchase of Face.com ensures that they now have access to that database and all of the “faces” in it. It is quite likely they will use this to track, and catalog what users are doing to monetize this last facet of the Facebook model.

Privacy and Consumer advocates are seriously concerned about this and are looking for ways to stop or at least alter what Facebook is doing. It is highly doubtful that Facebook will listen to reason here as they have a habit of ignoring their users, investors and pretty much anyone else that gets in their way in order to get what they want.

Still this is another piece of the Facebook Phone Puzzle though (even the integration into iOS 6 is part of it). We think that Facebook is very much on track to push out a mobile device of their own in another 16-18 months. We have a feeling that any device from them will be horrible in terms of privacy, data security and will be little more than a giant funnel for your personal information.

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Last modified on Monday, 18 June 2012 16:43

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