Facebook implements new facial recognition system
Facebook has been so beset by scandals that founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook Inc. to Meta. Sure, the official reasoning for the rebrand was to get a jump on the metaverse but there is a lot of evidence to say otherwise. Many of these scandals relate to the company’s terrible record on privacy and data security, which is why it is worrying, to say the least, that the company is rolling out a new facial recognition protocol.
If you have ever signed up to a bank, ordered a new passport or form of ID, or done anything online that required high levels of security and confident confirmation of your Id, you will likely be familiar with the type of facial recognition Facebook is rolling out. What might surprise you, however, is why Facebook is asking you to scan your face and send pictures of your ID to a company that is famous for its poor handling of private user data. It is all about Facebook Dating.
In order to join Facebook Dating, users now have to go through age verification processes that involve sending Facebook a selfie photo or video as well as a picture of your ID. Meta has been testing similar systems on Instagram, in a bid to ensure that users can only access “age-appropriate” experiences. Beyond this assertion, however, there is little explanation as to why the company is pushing such invasive data practices for experiences that seem so benign compared to the other actions we take online when they are carried out. Although, it may have something to do with just how harmful social media can actually be to the human brain, which is why children need to be protected from it.
Incredibly, the recent Meta blog post announcing the new Facebook Dating facial recognition protocol doesn’t even talk about privacy at all. We have to go to the blog post announcing the Instagram facial ID tests, where it says:
“The information provided in each age verification option is used to confirm your age and won’t be visible on your profile, to friends or other people on Instagram. If you choose to upload a video selfie to verify your age, Meta and Yoti delete it once your age is confirmed. Your video is not used for anything else other than to verify your age. If you choose to upload an ID, after you send us a copy of your ID, it’ll be encrypted and stored securely.”
Even that statement doesn’t say too much and isn’t very reassuring. All this comes in the wake of mass layoffs at Meta, with products such as the Portal devices getting the chop in the process. Sure, similar things are happening elsewhere, but with one of the main reasons behind the failure of the Portal devices being that people didn’t want a Facebook camera device in their homes, you would have thought that the company would have had second thoughts about introducing facial recognition to a product that actually has Facebook in the name.Advertisement