Facebook’s Push for Facial Recognition Prompts Privacy Alarms

Facebook is working to spread its face-matching tools even as it faces heightened scrutiny from regulators and legislators in Europe and North America.


Comments: 83

  1. I'm so tired of Facebook and all of its privacy platitudes.

    I deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts over a month ago and it's one of the best things I've done for myself. It took a few weeks to get out of the "this would make a good post" mindset, because there is that lingering addiction. That little dopamine rush from counting "likes."

    I've decided that I'm going to stay in touch with people the old-fashioned way: I'll pick-up the phone and talk to them. Or better yet, I'll visit them in person. We'll have an actual conversation, read each other's body language and facial expressions, and let the conversation flow accordingly.

    It's actually more fun, and authentic, connecting with people in person, and seeing their actual faces vs. some algorithm-provided facially-recognized photo, and then clicking "like".

  2. Facebook is the only place available for posting contact information since the demise of the phone book. It's nice to have one place to look when you are trying to reach an old acquaintance, and that's how I use it. I don't do connections or friends, but I do provide an email address from a trusted provider if anyone wants to reach me. This is not a bad way to use the service without being used by the service.

  3. The incredibly broad and invasive uses of bio-metric technology is alarming and as an American I believe I should have the right to not have my face or other identifying bio-metric information used for any commercial purposes unless I consent to it. As a layman it seems this is exactly what the 4th amendment was written for, though I doubt my government cares enough to protect its citizens privacy over the monetary interests of these corporations. Onward to a brave new world I guess, one where the individual is subject to the whims of corporations.

  4. Put a piece of tape over that laptop camera. That's what Zuckerberg does. Better yet, delete that Facebook account. That should solve many privacy concerns you might have.

  5. I’ve toyed with the idea of deleting my Facebook account. For now, I just think it’s better to keep the account but remain relatively inactive. There’s no guarantee that deleting your Facebook account will keep your likeness from being uploaded to the page. At least if you’re on Facebook, you can keep an eye on things to a certain degree.

    Perhaps if I were older and so much of my social network hadn’t been formed in part on social media, I might be more inclined to just quit cold turkey.

  6. @Common: "At least if you’re on Facebook, you can keep an eye on things to a certain degree."

    Sorry, but your thinking is skewed. What exactly does your "keeping an eye on things" do for you vis-a-vis facebook? Do you think Zuck & co. care one iota about you or your concerns? Do you think you can somehow influence Zuck?

    You can stay in the maw of the machine forever, but I can't imagine why you wouldn't quit cold turkey.

    The inertia of people like you is part of what keeps facebook in business (and profitable).

  7. You do realize that "remain relatively inactive" isn't possible with Facebook, right?

    Facebook "partners" (read: money is exchanged) with numerous websites to know which websites you visit, individual web pages you visit, topics you're interested on, and links you click. Searching for medical conditions? Facebook knows. Searching for a divorce attorney? Facebook knows. Having questions about your sexual preferences? Facebook knows. Were you at the strip club on Friday? Facebook knows.

    ...and all of that data is for sale, by Facebook, and bought by numerous companies & government agencies via 3rd party brokers. Search warrants aren't commonly sought for such a transaction when it's the government buying. Your health insurer will soon be (if they aren't already) buying this information to see what kind of a risk you are.

    The best answer is to delete the account, remove the app from your phone, delete your web browser cookies (including mobile devices) and start over.

    /haven't ever been on Facebook/MySpace/etc. Never will be.

  8. You are right. I don't have the Facebook app on my phone. I access it through the Opera Mini browser. Still, after researching a medical condition using Chrome (note, different browser on which I am not logged in to Facebook), I started seeing ads in Facebook for products related to that condition. That means that they know what I do even if I use a different browser and even if I have not downloaded the app. It's very disturbing.

  9. 1. Reason One to delete Facebook - Facebook scans their faces in photos even when their facial recognition setting is turned off. Reason One to delete Facebook - they lie, just like our President.

    2. Reason Two to delete Facebook - Facebook tries to improperly influence user consent by promoting facial recognition as an identity protection tool - they intimidate and coorce and try to manipulate your consent.

    3. Reason Three to delete Facebook - Facebook is fighting a lawsuit brought by Illinois residents claiming the company’s face recognition practices violated a state privacy law. States actually have privacy laws. Facebook and Zuckerberg just believe they are above the law. Sound familiar?

    4. Reason Four to delete Facebook. - “Facebook routinely makes misrepresentations to induce consumers to adopt wider and more pervasive uses of facial recognition technology,” Now you know why they never have a simple "Opt-In" button to allow them to use or not use a new software system. They would loose too much traction. Easier to scare you into agreeing.

    5. Reason Five to delete Facebook - if it's free your the product. - isn't it time to get your life back on your terms and conditions and not someone else's?

  10. Good work here, thank you. It's amazing what you "sign" when you agree to terms and policies - with Facebook, Apple, Windows, almost any "service" or social media. I have a policy too: If I can't see it, or understand it, I didn't agree to it. I checked a box so I could proceed, and that's all I agreed to. We all have our policies.

  11. Thank you Gazbo. You successfully summed up the article I just read. Everything you stated, was already written. Bravo. You have a job waiting for you at Cliffnotes someday!

  12. I have a friend working at a stealth startup developing an app for your phone which allows you to point the camera at anyone and it will use facial recognition to pull data from all sorts of sources on the web if possible. It uses data triangulation to source things not associated with your name to be more accurate and pull more data you might not even know is accommodated with you. No more anonymity in public. In fact there is no expectation of it outside a private home.

  13. That's no friend of yours, much less a friend of mine.

    Name names. Call out that creep, here and now.

  14. SeattleJoe, do you understand what that means for stalkers?

  15. That's hardly news. The Chinese government has an AI facial recognition system with which they've constructed a virtual police-state, particularly in Xinjiang province. Israeli company Faception is doing similar work; government-sponsored, no doubt. We've had facial recognition/passport-matching technology at border-crossing points here in Australia for years now.

    This is the future. How can we ever turn it back? We can delete Facebook, sure, but did you see that CCTV camera out on the street? It's watching you, and soon the system it's connected to will be able to track you, all over the city, just by knowing the contours of your face.

  16. Fortunately, Facebook allows us to turn off facial recognition. Moreover, we do not have to post photographs. But too many people allow themselves to be victimized. It is an outrageous overreach by Facebook, with much potential danger.

  17. I've never used Facebook, never had an account. Are you able to tell me with certainty that my face isn't identified, even with just my name, if/when family members were happily tagging faces after family events?

  18. Betcha Facebook itself, but especially Dear Leader Markie Z, can be recognized immediately by Greedy/Lying/Vulture recognition. Perfect match.

  19. I have greatly reduced my engagement with Facebook. It's a shame. It started out as a fun platform for connecting with friends. Then it grew out of control, insidiously invading every corner of your existence in an effort to sell your data, sell you something, exploit you, or simply annoy you.

  20. Suggest greatly reducing your engagement with Facebook to ZERO, based on your own conclusions. LISTEN to what you are saying. It's madness. Get off of it. Now.

  21. I deleted my Facebook account last month. I resisted deleting Instagram. After reading this article though, I will be deleting my Instagram account.

  22. Zuckerberg owns Instagram. Delete. It's just as insidious, if not more.

  23. The more I hear about Zuckerberg and Facebook, the more I think Zuckerberg should be arrested & prosecuted, and that Facebook should be shut down.

    IMO, facebook is a very shady business that is engaged in trafficking personal information voluntarily given - and now ALSO personal information NOT voluntarily given! - for large sums of money.

    Sounds like a racket to me.

  24. No Facebook for me.
    I'm not involved with any of this and there is no permission implied by me as a non-user of Facebook.
    My image is not for sale or for storing in their database for any purpose.

  25. Margo, if you used an application such as Ghostery to protect your data you would find that Virtually. Every. Single. Website. you visit has a connection to Facebook.

    Facebook already has your data.

    I no longer want to think about what their intentions are, and what it means that we as a country are totally ignoring Russia's use of Facebook to influence our elections. trump is small potatoes compared to Russia's intentions.

  26. Incredibly, this startling news keeps on piling up and people continue to use Facebook. Social media is truly an addiction without precedent in human history.

  27. In China, it's the government that spies on you with facial recognition. In the U.S it's private companies like the Facebook that job.

    Next thing we know, Facebook will ask its users to implant a chip into their body to protect them for a potential abduction and help them locate their kids if they get lost. And I'm sure some will be willing to agree to that.

    Fear sells whether is in politics or in business.

  28. The UK--London in particular--has the most technological surveillance tracking cameras in the world. Facial recognition should be banned by all any government(s) worldwide. It should be made a United Nations resolution. There is no reason for a private company, or government agency to possess such technology whatsoever.

  29. @Tee: Yes, there's a reason: They want to control you, my pretty! You, and your friends, and your enemies as well! They want to know who you are, who you're with, and where you go.

    Freedom of association soon goes away, replaced by ruthless dictatorship watching your every move. That's the plan.

  30. You have to be dumb as a rock/box of hair to still be loyal to disloyal Facebook. Try Faceblock instead by George Michael Bluth.

  31. It's a criminal enterprise plain and simple. Issue indictments for all the corporate officers and the boy wonder at the helm. How many lies, obfuscations, and despicable entry into private lives for profit will it take? We waste resources pursuing Russian teenage hackers - who changed ZERO votes - we investigate the investigators - or have we got the Mueller probe of the FBI wrong? But credit agencies and the foul FB go merrily onward? Why is anyone surprised that by 2020, ONLY radical populist disrupters have any chance at winning? We have been robbed, hoodwinked and sold out by our "leaders". Sic Semper Tyrannis.

  32. If you value your privacy, stay off facebook. It is a great place for "fake news".

  33. Mark Zuckerberg is an evil human being - not sure why anyone would ever trust Zuckerberg or Facebook.

  34. I want to know what is so bad about the system for catching criminals we have always had? It works just fine. In fact crime rates have been dropping for decades.

    The best part about it was that a crime had to take place before the Police went looking. These days it seems that if someone decides you don't look or talk right or react to them raising such a ridiculous point as if to were valid by getting justly angry at them you are automatically convicted of some secret crime and set upon and if not white you will probably be killed by the police.

    We don;t need facial rec. We don't need instant messaging. We don;t need Twitter or facebook or pretty much any of the internet.
    Seriously folks we have been sold a bill of goods with the most hackneyed of all come on lines "It's free!"

  35. Why would I post data about myself to give away so much of my privacy? FaceBook's 2 Billion users are Citizen-Targets. Brave New World and they're unaware it's here now.

  36. Facebook is a company created under allegations of intellectual property theft by Mark Zuckerberg, who continues to strike many observers as ethically challenged. Repeatedly, some of his most emphatic assurances of good intentions have been found in conflict with his company's activities. Facebook and its Silicon Valley cousins are in the business of monetizing information. That's what they do. Period. They are not your "friend." Their success has convinced their principals of the correctness of their actions, of their exceptionalism. It will take time to assess just how antisocial and intrusive of personal privacy Facebook et al. are, but when that assessment is made clear, people who value privacy and resent being used as a product without their consent will strike back with regulation and other legitimate curbs on high-tech arrogance.

  37. @Mark: You are 100% right: FB & Silicon Valley are NOT our "friend" - but when billions of dollars (theirs!) are at stake, they'll say and/or do almost anything to keep their rigged game going at our expense.

    And they have the best lobbyists money can buy, so we regular citizens are merely a nuisance to them.

  38. What do Facebook and China have in common? Both have billions of people in their borders. And one more thing: both use facial recognition to embarrass and try to control their users, with the ragged excuse of trying to protect everyone.

  39. I have just one thing to say on the subject of Facebook: Simply stop using their service and delete your account. Life was just as good if not better before we had hundreds of online buddies.
    I do not have Facebook. I deleted it long time ago. I don't need any false assurances from Mr. Zuckerberg that my online personal data will be safe. I may just take Google off the map too.
    These companies make money from your addiction, and maybe it's time to show them the money, or lack thereof by simply saying Adios!

  40. I agree. Delete your account today. It's nothing short of shocking how much my day to day existence expanded, and my work life surged, the day I deleted my account. Facebook is the dystopian soul sucker. Have lunch with a friend. Put down your device. Choose life.

  41. Aside from the serious nature of this, I wondered about their international headquarters being based in Ireland, since "Facebook is an American online social media and social networking service company based in Menlo Park, California.".

    Well, actually I didn't wonder. Tax cuts or not in the US, Ireland cuts a deal few others will match.

  42. Obviously it isn't for my protection, until the day I equate my protection with someone else's control. Facial recognition can be easily duped, and if access to your personal stuff depends on whether somebody has a printer and a web cam, well, goodbye bank account.

  43. Duped? "Duped" presumes some sort of innocence. These "folks" intend to use it for fun and profit and however that cookie crumbles so be it. Or rather, it will be profit-ized and leveraged for further exploit.

  44. I chose to delete FB because they refuse to allow us to hide our location. Then I became convinced if I want to expand my e-commerce business I have no choice but to use FB, a necessary evil. Now I think I was right to avoid it. The very first mention of facial recognition technology made my blood run cold years ago. Combine that with their insistence on revealing your location and people like me and these other posters, who still value privacy, are just not comfortable with it. Honestly, I don't know what to think now. Do I really need to compromise my principals to promote my little store? This story has me really hesitating.

  45. Your business can survive without facebook. You can have an internet presence without it. Your store may take a small and temporary hit.

    Is a little more money worth selling your soul to the satanic facebook?

  46. So the bottom line is that you can turn off this feature - indeed you can opt out of all FB features - you can choose to not download any apps - you can modify your privacy settings to control what is shared or not and yet...

    We still get the plaintive cries: 'protect me from myself'

  47. Hmm. lets see how Facebook might help the government try to annihilate Jason Bourne) In a crowded train station each person is scanned by cameras. the information is relayed to Facebook where the individual is identified. As Jason steps off the train he is identified also.

    Hmm. lets see why facial recognition might be important to Facebook's business model. That is advertising revenue. Suppose I post a picture with a few investment banking coworkers on my page. However my page says nothing about my income or job or location. Nothing in the photo says that either. By identifying all the individuals in the photo and looking at what they wrote on their pages (university, high school, job). Facebook could with a high probability create a profile of my characteristics as well. Especially income status, job location, possibly hobbies. This is sufficient information to target me with advertisements from BMW and other high end consumer goods companies. Also with political advertising.

    The shocking part of this is that if a person has their photo posted on the web and it was NOT posted in Facebook, one could be still identified in that photo using their technology and hence their personal history also revealed. Note that once you have a name and a location, Intellius will fill in the gaps including family members. The online property tax records will tell exactly where the person lives. Very scary.

  48. I wonder how many privacy-minded people have, in addition to deleting their FB and Instagram accounts, opted out of data sharing via third-party brokers like Acxiom and Experian?

    If you search for, ”How does Facebook work with data providers," (which is the title of the relevant article) using your preferred seach engine, you should find in the first couple of results the FB help page which lists which data brokers in several counties augment FB's data about you and links to their opt-out instructions.

    These brokers can help build a dossier about you even if you don't use FB or limit what you post on FB. Your phone number, DOB, and city are usually sufficient to correlate you with additional demographic and behavioral marketing segments not otherwise reflected explicitly on your FB profile.

  49. Does it seem that Facebook and other tech titans are worth trusting? Note as usual it takes the EU to jolt them into actually doing something while Congress hides fearing for their campaign contributions. Congress does seem to spend much time on red herrings while important things like this are shoved underground. I am profoundly concerned but unless there is an uprising by the electorate this will continue on until one day...Surprise and the Masters of the Universe win again. Look how open Internet is being sold out for commercial profit.

  50. Its already too late, there never will be an uprising. Better buckle up for the ride because the future will be bumpy. Just look around at any outlet that even allows comments anymore, its just dumbfounded outrage from the populace. I used to have to work to convince people of our dystopian future, now people arrive at that conclusion on their own. The common man is enslaved, too busy just trying to put food on the table to truly engage in politics. We just get to eat the bread and watch the circus as they seem to focus on "red herrings" as you say. Ever wonder why that is? Why these politicians always seem to get it so wrong when everyone else seems to know what the priorities should be and what the solutions are? Its no accident my friend. Nobody I know wants race wars, or gender wars, or wars on immigrants, or wars on our own populace, but yet that's all we get from them. So in a democracy why is that so? Hopefully you can find contentment in slavery, because if you ever move the needle they come down on you like a ton of bricks. I mean really even show the potential, as soon as that happens, they devote serious resources to you, just for peaceful words. Its over, its been over for a while, its just that now its becoming common knowledge. I'd say learn to find happiness in slavery, the alternative is not pleasant, these guys don't mess around if one of us gets out of line, trust me, they get that squeaky wheel back in line right quick.

  51. “If the suit were to move forward, Facebook’s lawyers argued in a recent court document, “the reputational and economic costs to Facebook will be irreparable.””

    Precisely why the suit *should* go forward.

  52. My thought exactly.

  53. Last June Facebook filed for a patent that would allow them to identify your phone’s front facing camera to read your facial expressions. Prior to that they were caught experimenting with peoples emotions by tweaking the news feed to make people either happy or sad.

    As someone who suffers from mental health issues, the realization that Facebook is actively trying to manipulate people’s emotions through such invasive and even downright dystopian means was the last straw for me to delete my Facebook. It wasn’t hard at first as it seems most of the internet relies on facebook’s login credentials but it’s fotten better. The more and more people who wake up and smell the manipulation and delete their profiles, the closer we are to endings facebooks run of our lives. Remember MySpace? No one uses it anymore. I look forward to saying the same about Facebook in a few years time... if the narcicissisfs can give up their heroin!

    And talk about dystopian - using a persons face as a matter of trustworthiness while shopping? The last thing we need is a “social credit” system like China is laying out. What could go wrong?!

  54. These behavior modification empires, a term first noted by Jaron Lanier (see Maureen Dowd's recent column), have long since proven themselves inept at maintaining even a baseline security for their clients. Besides, it's not in their interests to safeguard your personal information, etc., is it. You are their principle revenue source after all. Yet we're to think they can be trusted with facial recognition tech? Ah contraire.

    To my mind, in reading some related video surveillance articles, it becomes clear all of this is just one more step along the path to that which autocratic/totalitarian political systems would love to see occur; algorithmic governance of the population. A complete lock-down of the many by the few. And if the Chinese example is to be believed this process is already well underway, aided and abetted by the very same behavior modification empires of Facebook, et.al. I say you cannot trust them any further than you can throw them, so "buyer beware."

    John~
    American Net'Zen

  55. This is nothing new --

    When you walk into a gambling casino - say in Nevada or Connecticut, for example - your face is immediately scanned and run through a huge database in milliseconds while experts up in the security rooms maintain a constant vigil for people who have either been banned from entering for past bad acts - or are known cheaters or card counters --

    One might argue that very few readers of the New York Times are the types of people who go to gambling casinos - while a large portion of them do participate on Facebook -- but that's faulty reasoning -

    When you watch the news - every day there is another report about a local crime - with a video - as they ask, "Police are asking anyone who recognizes this person to call the number on your screen."

    And - while we're at it - don't forget those huge databases of "Mug Shots" maintained by law enforcement everywhere --

    This business regarding Facebook may be troubling - but actually - when you stop to think about it, you realize they're late to the party...

  56. I guess it bears repeating: Anyone with a Facebook account gets what they deserve. Delete your account. Seriously. It is the only way to stop it from corroding all things we hold dear. Seriously. It is a force for evil.

  57. We need to charge Facebook for using our data.

  58. Not going to happen. Read the TOS.

    Here is an idea that will work: Stay off facebook.

  59. Right, my protection. Done with Facebook.

  60. Our faces are scanned in public more often than we know. For instance every time you walk into a Walmart. FB and all the other big tech firms want to take it in a whole new direction that Orwell never considered. Worse than anything he could've imagined even. It's that evil.

  61. Anything designed to "protect" you can also be used to control you. All technology has a dark side because human nature does as well.

  62. So ubiquitous are cameras that there is barely a story on the local news anymore that does not rely upon surveillance footage. In a sense, this is fortunate, because people are so buried in their devices, they wouldn't even notice Godzilla's foot coming down on them. In the US. this still has not penetrated the general consciousness because you still see people performing all kinds of boneheaded acts, many of which send them to jail.

    In China however, the surveillance society does seem to be having some success.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/business/china-surveillance-technolog...
    Perhaps its because, in that homogeneous culture, shame is a more effective deterrent. Sooner or later though, the same results will be felt here. People modifying their behavior in order to conform to some unstated, but benignly dull, standard, voluntarily robbing themselves of their autonomy so they don't stand out too much, or conversely present the best fake impression. That's the real zombie apocalypse.

  63. My advice to all....Terminate your Facebook account.

  64. Time to deal with Zuckerburg once and for all.

  65. So... don't post photos of yourself and unfriend anyone who posts photos of you. It's really that simple people.

  66. As I asked someone else who also said "it's so easy" - I've never used Facebook. Are you able to guarantee my face isn't tagged in Facebook? Come to that, do you actually think Facebook would remove photos with you in them just because you "unfriend" the poster? You'd just be another data point for the social researchers - don't forget, "At Facebook, research permeates everything we do."
    https://research.fb.com/

    Remember, the article mentioned how they used "Is this -person name here-" as a way to get their user base to help improve their algorithms. So can you say with confidence that my family, for example, never tagged me?

    It's not "really that simple" when the owners of this free, addictive, manipulative product make the rules.

  67. Time to become healthily paranoid, folks. Close your Facebook account and your Twitter account, you can live without, as I do. You won't die.

  68. "One patent application, published last November, described a system that could detect consumers within stores and match those shoppers’ faces with their social networking profiles. Then it could analyze the characteristics of their friends, and other details, using the information to determine a “trust level” for each shopper. Consumers deemed “trustworthy” could be eligible for special treatment, like automatic access to merchandise in locked display cases, the document said."

    This is beyond the pale.

    And just like with the upcoming NATO meetings, moral authority from Europe is desperately trying to save us from ourselves.

  69. We’re talking in terms that this “might”, this “could” happen.

    Too late. It’s here. If FB recognizes you, you’ve been assimilated.

  70. There is one explanation for this, to be found by following the money and influence trail. Facebook, like any other corporation, NEVER does anything for the good of the public; this is a combination of financial gain for them, coupled with whomever is behind Facebook's intense "need" for the technology. Who else is pushing this...is it a government entity, other corporate interests? And Facebook is being "Trumpian" with the truth - they are forcing this technology on people in myriad ways, surreptitiously running the program with inadequate or non-existent notifications (running without user knowledge, or when they have faked users into thinking it is not running), and claiming no harm will be done...the constant refrain of someone who is doing harm since time immemorial. This technology must be curtailed until true "privacy by consent", true "opt-in" consent instead of "opt-out" (a very important difference), and "privacy by design" is 100% adopted in all social media applications.

  71. Not only can I not fathom why anyone would allow this---I cannot fathom why anyone still uses facebook.

  72. When not far from now Europe imposes suitable double digit billion fines on Facebook & Co. for privacy violations, the protectionist Diesel charges will finally be balanced.

  73. Several commenters have said "Facial Recognition Technology is already here. What's the big deal?" The deal is to be effective, FRT need a very large data base of known faces. This allows the developers of FRT to refine the algorithms and makes it more valuable when they sell it to various governments, advertisers, anyone with enough money. Facebook subscribers have demonstrated that they don't care about security and will believe almost anything. They are the perfect patsy.

  74. Anyone who cares at all about their privacy & that of their friends already deleted Facebook. (We have to take their word for it on account deletions, which is really unsettling given their track record.) I did so months ago & it didn't hurt a bit. I do not believe Zuckerberg was as naive as he claims with Cambridge Analytica & others & I do not believe Facebook can be trusted no matter what they promise. It's past time to kick them to the curb. There are just so many better things to do with one's time.

  75. Privacy advocates, myself included, are fighting a losing battle. Not only is technology evolving faster than law, our next generation largely doesn't care. They've grown up without an expectation of privacy, and don't understand why their parents or grandparents care.

    From gay marriage to powerful computers in our pocket to permanent climate change to unfit presidents: What before seemed impossible becomes normal. We've survived, sometimes flourished before; Let's hope we survive what comes next.

  76. I'm not addicted to FB. I actually hate it, but my grand kids use it. Also Indivisible, MoveOn and the Democrat running for our Congressional District, so for now I'm stuck with it.

  77. It should be noted that Facebook's facial recognition tools are inaccurate. Recently, every time Facebook has "tagged" me in a photograph, it has been a cousin of mine. No one has ever confused us before. Apparently, the fact that we both have white hair has been enough for Facebook.

  78. Free "anything" on the internet means that a company's income is coming from exploiting your privacy to improve advertising revenue. Take it or leave it.

  79. FB facial recognition is super creepy not to mention downright obnoxious, and note that Apple is using it too... A few months ago I uploaded a group photo onto FB I'd taken at a womens' march. Unprompted, FB identified my college aged niece in a caption. There was no apparent way to get rid of it and it really spooked me.
    Apple phones are doing the same thing. In my photos app recently, totally unauthorized, little slide shows appeared of single individuals taken from my master photo album, complete with background music. The one of me actually included a photo of my sister, who looks similar but far from identical to myself. It's only a matter of time till they perfect this technology though. Its quite scary that these companies are being run by people so myopic that they truly don't comprehend how disturbing this breach of privacy is to their users, nor, more importantly, that there's nothing utopianly positive to be gained by this stuff. Let me just say to any tech giants reading this, NO, there is NO upside to this and you aren't my "friends" helping me out. Get out of the facial recognition game.

  80. Not having a Facebook account does not mean you are not in their database. I'm not on Facebook, but I am sure I am in many photos posted by friends and family who are. I am sure I am "tagged" in some of them. Facebook now has my face biometrics and knows at least my first name. Every time someone answers yes to the "is this Kraktos" question Facebook refines their algorithm without my knowledge or consent.

  81. If I understand it correctly, it DOES, in fact, matter whether or not you have a FB account. If you don’t, friends can’t tag you b/c you’re not on anybody’s “friend” list. They may list your name, but it’s not an “active,” linkable tag b/c FB references itself, not the phone book or “the whole world.”

  82. Facebook and facial recognition software proliferation--what could possibly go wrong...???

  83. If I can't trust government with all of this data, why would I trust Zuckerberg or any other profiteer or company with all of that information on me?

    What's worse is the idea that I can still be subjected to Facebook's facial recognition stalking in the real world - "capture shoppers’ faces" - even though I've never had a Facebook account. How do I opt out of them stalking me wherever I go? Do we need to wear a burka in the real world to protect our privacy? No wonder it's being banned in France to aid profiteering stalkers.

    They already know every single article I read at NYTimes.com - according to software I use that tracks who is spying on me as I navigate the web.

    What's next - finger prints? Hand prints? DNA? Oh, they already have all that.

    “the reputational and economic costs to Facebook will be irreparable.” Ask if I care. If it is a choice between them stalking me and making billions and them not stalking me and going bankrupt - let them go broke.