Ok, I think this is one of the more problematic features of Facebook with dramatic potential of invading your privacy much more than you ever wanted. Facebook is activating face recognition for photos that users upload to their Facebook profiles. And as always, Facebook is activating this feature by default and the user has to turn it off afterwards.
I don’t care what everyone does on Facebook, I do not use it for me personally. However, I think there are quite a few privacy issues involved in this one. What if somebody uploads a picture of a group of people and the software recognizes you even though you do not want to be recognized and name tagged? I mean, how do we know what happens down the road with this type of information?! The invasion of our privacy is immense and profiling and tracking of people can be become a huge issue. We’re already being tracked with the cell phones that we carry around. Now imagine you are walking through a subway station one day and the same software that recognized you on Facebook connects to the camera system in public places. Yes, I know it is a long stretch, but think more like “Big Brother” scenarios. Right now it is just Facebook. Other companies are doing the same thing. They are not connected today, they might be connected tomorrow.
On Facebook you are already targeted with advertisements based on your profile information. Databases keep track of what you do and what you read and where you spend time on the Internet. Now combine all these things and it can get really scary. Based on your preferences providers change the content they are showing you. Yes, it is awesome (no, it is not) – you only get to see what you are interested in. But what is the next step? Imagine a company not having your best interest in mind. Suddenly all these features can turn against you. Be it that you are not “a good fit” for a certain job because those pictures from the 2009 Cancun party that somebody else uploaded showed you doing something really embarrassing and thanks to that face recognition software this information is now attached to your name.
Not afraid yet? How about manipulation of information presented to you? Again, assume all the dots are connected at one point (maybe just 2-3 years from now?) and you are being profiled. News that you used to trust, now comes from a source that no longer has your best interest in mind. Think manipulation of information. Again, this will be possible easily by connecting all these currently isolated areas.
I am not one of those privacy advocates and my name is out there more than I probably ever imagined, but I make it a habit to only go to a certain level. Sometimes I like things when they become available and sometimes I think it is going way too far. Facebook is one of those where things going way too far. Did you know that divorce lawyers love Facebook a lot?! It has become one of their greatest sources of collecting evidence in divorce cases. People voluntarily share everything in their life’s – including stuff that should not be shared. Now, face recognition can take this to a whole new level soon. Of course, right now this feature is only available to your friends, but a) do you really know who can see your Facebook profile and b) do you really trust a guy like Mark Zuckerberg who once said how dumb and stupid his “customers” (Facebook users) are by giving him their personal information so easily?! Facebook will slowly roll out this feature and adjust any concerns that are made too public. And a year or two from now the feature opens up more and more and nobody will take notice ….
About: This article is written by Chris on behalf of the Small Business Opportunities website that he manages. His Disclaimer: I am an Internet Marketer and I use certain features of Facebook for business purposes. An example would be the “like it” functionality as this has become a critical piece in search engine optimization. Unfortunately Facebook has gained so much power that usage of features like this is necessary to stay competitive even in unrelated markets.