New Facebook Tech Can ID You Without Seeing Your Face

Read original story on: The Next Web

Facebook’s facial recognition algorithm was first developed to enable easier “tagging” in photos to facilitate party photo sharing on the social network. Fast forward to now, however, the tool has become so powerful that it can recognize users in pictures when their face is not in shot. Instead, it identifies people based on their hair, clothing style, and other physical traits that it compares with old images already stored in its database, all to an astonishing 83% accuracy.

Facial recognition has been receiving a lot of press lately. The news comes a week after several prominent privacy groups terminated negotiations with the U.S. government and the tech industry after failing to agree on even basic privacy protections around facial recognition. Moreover, dozens of churches worldwide are reportedly using facial recognition to track if its members are attending their services.

Here at the Lab, we have always been interested in the development of facial recognition technology, believing in its potential in enabling more personalized consumer experiences. But we also firmly believe that this technology should only be applied with clear consent from the consumers, preferably on an opt-in basis. Anything less would be a violation of consumer privacy, and should not be tolerated.