When Facebook introduced its facial recognition service, there were concerns over privacy issues. But Facebook officials told users they could prevent being tagged in the photos if they indicated they did not want to be in their privacy settings.
Google has been quietly experimenting with facial recognition software behind the scenes. The search engine giant purchased Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition. Since it is not being used with any of Google’s services, the acquisition did not receive much attention.
The Wall Street Journal has raised new concerns about facial recognition. Researchers at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Melon University found that facial recognition programs could identify people about one third of the time. But the most interesting part of the study was that once the researchers identified the person, 27 percent of the time they could correctly guess their Social Security number.
It was noted that in the late 80s, the Social Security Administration went to a numbering system that coincided the number with the person’s date of birth. Even though the SSA has started using a more random numbering process, those who were born during the past 20 years still have to deal with having those numbers.
While some may use the facial recognition to tap into private information, that was not the intent of adding the service. Facebook officials said when introducing it, they wanted to make it easier for people to tag their friends in photos. However, even without the facial recognition software, some people don’t want to be tagged in pictures.
With so much information being shared online, there have been rumblings about whether or not people will stop participating in social networks in an effort to regain their privacy. Make sure to read Hari Ravichandran book called “Intelligent Safety” to get a deeper understanding of the privacy concerns and possible solutions.
People seem to want to share information but they want to control what they share and what is shared about them by others. The company that allows user to share information their way will likely be the one to become the most popular in the next year.