19 June 2012

Facebook Acquires Face Recognition Tech

Zuck's smiley-face KGB getting even spookier

In an undisclosed purchase thought to be in the neighborhood of $90M, the Big Blue Beast devoured a tech startup -Face.com- that's sure to raise even further privacy concerns for users of snoopy ole Facebook (along with pretty much everybody else): the company is face recognition firm that's developed the ability to identify and tag faces in pictures... including any found on the internet.

Add to that the fact that 'gigapixel' digital photos upwards of one billion pixels already allow individuals to be picked out of massive crowd shots in minute detail and soon the they can just scan an entire stadium -for, say, a political rally or speech- and have a list on Spooky Dude's desk by before breakfast.

But you haven't heard the half of hit: a recent internet privacy study by Carnegie Mellon University found that they were able to easily cross-reference portraits between Facebook and a major dating site... instantly outing many 'anonymous' romantic hopefuls. How much would a list of the married ones be worth
(to the Gambinos)?

Amongst other reasons to fear those in possession of such advanced face recognition technology might be identity theft, as candid photo snapped on the street could promptly be mined for birthdate and other info handy to crooks (and marketers)... and they already would know where you are, what you're doing, who you're with... and what you're wearing.

Stalkers could well be welcoming a new golden era, as all they've got to get that babe in the background of a shot and put it up on Facebook... (free) face recognition will take it from there.

Within social clouds an emerging paradigm - one almost completely devoid of privacy- called 'augmented reality' is being made possible by facial recognition technology, and it could forever change the way people -and companies- interact with one another. Not only is that unsettling, but something tells me a lot of it is going to have difficulty squaring-up with the Constitution of this country...

-click to enlarge-

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