- How to stream Real Madrid vs. Real Valladolid Friday 10:44 PM
- How to stream Liverpool vs. Arsenal Friday 10:28 PM
- How to stream Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace Friday 10:05 PM
- How to stream Chelsea vs. Norwich City Friday 8:55 PM
- How to stream the 2019-20 Serie A season Friday 8:05 PM
- Tom Brady keeps supplying us with new meme material Friday 5:55 PM
- Emails reveal Facebook’s knowledge of Cambridge Analytica Friday 3:43 PM
- ‘Fast and Furious’ + ‘American Ninja Warrior’ = Netflix’s ‘Hyperdrive’ Friday 3:15 PM
- Trump jokes drop in Dow is because Seth Moulton dropped out of 2020 race Friday 3:13 PM
- What we learned when we visited Mr. B, America’s chonkiest cat Friday 1:46 PM
- Trump’s new plan to fight opioid overdose? This tweet Friday 1:06 PM
- Fitness influencer shamed for ‘sharing numbers’ in weight loss posts Friday 1:04 PM
- The VSCO Girl has always been here Friday 1:01 PM
- Tomi Lahren’s new ‘Freedom’ clothing line is made for meme mockery Friday 12:21 PM
- Taylor Swift’s ‘London Boy’ is a bop, but Brits don’t think her lyrics are accurate Friday 12:02 PM
Facebook’s new image-recognition feature is the creepiest thing ever
You can’t run or hide, but you could deactivate.
Facebook’s AI engineers have developed an algorithm that can identify and tag people even when their faces are not visible—for example, when they’re shielding their faces to prevent being recognized. In lieu of facial features like eyes, a nose, or a mouth, the algorithm looks at hair styles, apparel, and even body posture.
“There are a lot of cues we use” to identify people, Yann LeCun, Facebook’s director of AI research, told New Scientist. “People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from the back. For example, you can recognise Mark Zuckerberg very easily, because he always wears a gray T-shirt.”
Ha ha ha. But LeCun’s joke in no way disguises the threat that the algorithm poses to online privacy.
For now, Facebook is still evaluating the feature. In a test run, the results of which were presented at a recent conference in Boston, the algorithm correctly identified people with 83-percent accuracy.
New Scientist notes that the algorithm would be especially useful to Facebook when paired with the company’s newest photo-sharing service, Facebook Moments.
We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment on the facial recognition system’s implications and will update if we hear back.
Illustration by Max Fleishman
Eric Geller is a politics reporter who focuses on cybersecurity, surveillance, encryption, and privacy. A former staff writer at the Daily Dot, Geller joined Politico in June 2016, where he's focused on policymaking at the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.