In a blog post on Tuesday, Facebook announced that it would start using facial recognition to send users alerts when their face is detected in a photo posted by a friend on the site.
Facial recognition is a way of recognising a human face through technology. A facial recognition system uses biometrics to map facial features from a photograph or video. It compares the data retrieved from a database of known faces to find a match.
The facial recognition market is expected to grow from a recorded $4 billion in 2017, to $7.7 billion in 2022. This could be because facial recognition now has a range of commercial applications, from surveillance to marketing.
Since facial recognition technology came into use, multiple privacy concerns have been raised, and in recent weeks it has received a lot of bad press.
San Francisco banned police forces from using facial recognition back in May, and a London housing developer has recently been urged to switch off facial recognition at a site close to King’s Cross station, after a public backlash against the technology.
Facial recognition is playing an increasing role in law enforcement and border security around the world. This has led to concerns about how the data collected will be used, perhaps evoking fears of a “big brother” surveillance state.
The social network
In 2017, Facebook began offering some of its users the option to use facial recognition to tag their photos. They have recently announced that the technology will be rolled out across all user accounts. Facebook’s decision to introduce facial recognition to its network is somewhat surprising considering the negative backlash the technology has received from the public.
Even Facebook itself has received legal scrutiny for its use of facial recognition technology. Just a few weeks ago, a US appeals court in San Francisco denied the social network’s appeal to undo a lawsuit stating that they had unlawfully used facial recognition technology to gather millions of user’s biometric data.
Facebook says that those who don’t already have the feature will soon receive a notification in their news feed about the change. They also claim that the feature will not be automatically enabled. Instead, users will have to manually turn the feature on.
Could their decision to let users enable the feature themselves stems from the negative backlash surrounding the technology?
Would you trust Facebook to gather your biometric data? Let us know on Twitter @Hyve!