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In whole world, Facebook looks at YOU


Walsingham

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/face...criticised.html

 

Not being a Facebook user I'm feeling unconscionably smug about this. Facebook has "quietly switched on" technology which studies the tagged images of you and profiles what you look like.

 

Yet again I see a private company acting in a way which would be unconstitutional in many liberal democracies.

 

I've never been in Facebook directly. If you are, you need to either complain or just pack up and leave.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I really really dispise Facebook's upper management and its marketing and strategy teams. Their goals scare me. They are not in line with the goals of ordinary citizens.

 

Don't get me wrong - one thing motivates them and that's money. They're not evil people out to control everyone (like, say, the Chinese government), but unchecked and unregulated the potential for Bad Things worries me greatly.

 

I fight with myself over the fact that I use Facebook so actively. It's a very useful service. It's a very dangerous service. It has a lot of potential for good and bad. Kind of like the Internet itself. Unlike the Internet, though, Facebook is centrally governed, not massively decentralised. I just wish the people in charge were more like, say, Google (say what you will, Google balance altruism with turning a profit pretty well).

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If I'm lucky, people uploading screenshots of Futurama will get tagged as me. My facebook picture is Farnsworth.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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Luckily I never appear on camera.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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So is the complaint here that when I upload a photo, it will automatically recognize other facebook members in the photo and offer to tag them?

 

Why would that upset me?

 

Because - to the best of my understanding, and I'm open to correction - Facebook is effectively compiling data on your image that would permit you to be recognised by any visual system. Meaning that an organisation or person with access to that database would be able to identify you from an anonymous photo.

 

This is something which has been brought up for consideration in the UK as a national security initiative and rejected roundly as an intrusive Big Brother measure. And remember who this is telling you. I'm hardly a conspiracy theorist.

 

As others have commented this is as much about consent as it is what is being done. This is intensive profiling with effects that could last your entire life. If some daft bimbo wants to sign up for it to save then 2 seconds typing then that's their choice. It shoud not have been activated as a default.

Edited by Walsingham

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I have a hard time believing the image recognition software is any good at picking out one of a billion people. Sure, when you have a list of 100 people, it can probably make a good guess who on your friends list is in a picture, but I just don't see it being effective for large scale security.

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I have a hard time believing the image recognition software is any good at picking out one of a billion people. Sure, when you have a list of 100 people, it can probably make a good guess who on your friends list is in a picture, but I just don't see it being effective for large scale security.

 

Then one of us has misunderstood the capability of the software.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I have a hard time believing the image recognition software is any good at picking out one of a billion people. Sure, when you have a list of 100 people, it can probably make a good guess who on your friends list is in a picture, but I just don't see it being effective for large scale security.

 

Then one of us has misunderstood the capability of the software.

Tell that to the Londoners who drive around in a city constantly watched by cameras with OCR software (it checks vehicle license plates in real time, guiding cops towards something that flags as interesting in the central database).

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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I have a hard time believing the image recognition software is any good at picking out one of a billion people. Sure, when you have a list of 100 people, it can probably make a good guess who on your friends list is in a picture, but I just don't see it being effective for large scale security.

 

Then one of us has misunderstood the capability of the software.

 

And I don't think it is you.

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Guest The Architect

Why not just make a fake account with no private information? That's what I did. Comes in handy for external study groups, that's for sure. The people you talk to know who you really are anyway, so there's no need to put any personal information on there.

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Why not just make a fake account with no private information? That's what I did. Comes in handy for external study groups, that's for sure. The people you talk to know who you really are anyway, so there's no need to put any personal information on there.

 

Considering I only use it to communicate with friends and family, that sounds unnecessary. The whole point in putting information like an email address or a birthdate is that it makes it easier to keep track of that information among your circle. I get reminders about upcoming birthdays, I can send out invitations to events, I can share pictures of the kids, etc. What I'm saying is the benefit outweighs the risk of my private information getting out. I also don't post stuff that is inappropriate and I don't really have any hush hush secrets.

 

What exactly is the risk here, by the way? Like, what are you guys worried about exactly, in terms of that information getting out?

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Why not just make a fake account with no private information? That's what I did. Comes in handy for external study groups, that's for sure. The people you talk to know who you really are anyway, so there's no need to put any personal information on there.

 

Considering I only use it to communicate with friends and family, that sounds unnecessary. The whole point in putting information like an email address or a birthdate is that it makes it easier to keep track of that information among your circle. I get reminders about upcoming birthdays, I can send out invitations to events, I can share pictures of the kids, etc. What I'm saying is the benefit outweighs the risk of my private information getting out. I also don't post stuff that is inappropriate and I don't really have any hush hush secrets.

 

What exactly is the risk here, by the way? Like, what are you guys worried about exactly, in terms of that information getting out?

 

No offence Hurlshot, but I think on this issue you are rather naive.

 

Let's see, random reason why you shouldn't be so trusting of Facebook number one: http://www.businessinsider.com/well-these-...problems-2010-5

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I really hate that attitude. "If you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about." It's exactly the sort of logic people use to justify things like government spying.

 

Excuse me if I value my privacy and my legal and human right to it.

 

But there are many other issues at play here: for example, suppose somebody wanted to stalk you or commit identity theft (e.g. credit card fraud, which is depressingly common). Are you able to see how providing the information Hurlshot provides on Facebook makes these things trivially easy?

 

And what about the numerous cases of employers checking Facebook pages before hiring someone, or lawyers using Facebook photos to justify some case against someone in court?

 

There are privacy features which I KNOW used to exist in Facebook (been on it since 2005) which were important and useful but have now been removed. That's chilling. The implication is "we think you shouldn't have as much control over your data and privacy (because it gets in the way of us using your data for advertising and money-making purposes)".

Edited by Krezack
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Why not just make a fake account with no private information? That's what I did. Comes in handy for external study groups, that's for sure. The people you talk to know who you really are anyway, so there's no need to put any personal information on there.

 

I can't decide if that's a defence of the system, or one example of why one shouldn't belong to it.

 

Actually, it's crystallised a point I'm not clear on. I may not be a Facebook user, but other people can take photos of me, upload them and I can acquire a profile in thi ssoftware irrespective of what I sign?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I'm not sure if you can still be tagged if you're not a registered facebook user - i.e. whether the tags work by manually entered names, or they work by account strings. I suspect the latter, so you should be safe.

 

While this latest development is not one that has immediately threatening privacy consequences, Krezack's last point is very valid. The "if you've done nothing wrong" argument is a horrible one because it encourages apathy and ignorance, and encourages us to shrug our shoulders not only when it's OK to shrug your shoulders, but also when it's not.

 

It's also notable that the major thing about facebook's evolution over the years is how communication & content is increasingly out of your control. i.e. the difference tagging makes, especially as it becomes more powerful, is that FB is no longer just sometwhere where you post photos you want to post and then show that collection off as a visual representation of your life - now FB, not you, is doing the collage work, getting photos of you from your collection and everyone else's collection. With FB's default privacy settings, the Wall - FB's default screen - is primarily used to not see what people are saying to/about you, but what people are saying to/with other people, some of which may not even be your friends.

 

Ironically, I've been stepping up my FB use from pretty-much-not to sort-of, and there are definitely huge advantages to the service, but I prefer to use it to share interesting links, thoughts, tidbits, etc, and the private messaging. Seriously, fifty thousand messages about who woke up with an extra zit on their face.

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I have a 'fake' FB account with a pseudonym just so I can keep in touch with people (who know it's me). I don't upload any photos of me or my family, nor would I.

 

Therefore I have no problems with it, I get a free, easy to use comms tool that is relatively anonymised (I use proxies a lot of the time, am seriously considering TOR) and FB gets to spam my account with stuff I like (targeted spam on FB can be quite useful seeing how specific it is - i.e. I'm on Foo Fighter and Game of Thrones and that stuff is quite cool).

sonsofgygax.JPG

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You can tag people in photos on fb even if they don't have accounts.

 

The way this is set up, it doesn't matter if its a picture you put online, a friend put online or what.. if someone tags it with your name, it all goes in the dbase and builds up the picture of who that person is.

 

The trouble is, FB is very weird on saying just how they deal with privacy and data protection.

On the one hand they'll say they protect users privacy.. on the other, they have admitted they use the data gathered to sell it to advertisers and target people for what they like..

 

So they do have a history of taking data and spinning it off in ways you wouldn't be cheerful about if you knew.

 

The main trouble with FB is that they keep putting in these new features without any real fanfare, and automatically set accounts to allow them to be used. So if you are conscious/paranoid of your privacy you don't always know to go in and change those settings.

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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