You may be able to escape the Digital Cage, but your children and grandchildren will certainly not, unless you do something about it right now. There have not been nearly enough complaints from the public over Facebook’s new facial recognition technology.
The most ominous quote that I’ve seen being this one: “You are not a customer, you are a commodity.”
Facebook has existed only to exploit and sell you like a tool, beginning with the college women it started with. What possible advantage could there be to consumers in having this technology? The answer is that there isn’t one. One opinion is that Facebook has made a back door deal with spooks such as the cee ai ayh, and eff bee eye, to grant them carte blanche immunity in exchange for providing them with the use of the world’s most extensive data base, to spy on American citizens. All of which violates a half dozen articles of the Bill of Rights, from where I’m sitting.
It seems strange that it took since last fall before Facebook’s latest caper resulted in a complaint filed with the Feds. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) finally filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, asking the FTC to bar Facebook from using the technology. But nothing has happened. Average Facebook users don’t even know it exists, and are blithely uploading pics as if nothing has changed.
“Users could not reasonably have known that Facebook would use their photos to build a biometric database in order to implement a facial recognition technology under the control of Facebook,” EPIC mentions.
Has anyone ever said “Oh you look just like ‘So and So’.” You better hope ‘So and So’ is a model citizen. Is every little thing you do entirely legal? Better be if you are on FB. Ever give your neighbor a bag of zucchini? That’s barter, it’s illegal. Ever J walked, smoked a non medicinal joint, or stubbed your toe in public and said “Oh fuck?”.
Under the pretenses of targeted advertising or making things ‘more convenient’, we are subjected to growing invasions of privacy on a scale that has never before been seen. Net neutrality died a death of obscurity due to the complacency of those young enough to know better and the ignorance of the older analog agers.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has also called on the FTC to look into the Facebook situation. He is said to have commended EPIC for filing the complaint, saying it was an important privacy matter.
“When it comes to users’ privacy, Facebook’s policy should be: ‘Ask for permission, don’t assume it,’” Rep. Markey said in a statement. “Rather than facial recognition, there should be a Facebook recognition that changing privacy settings without permission is wrong.”
EPIC highlighted in its complaint how Facebook has continued to have such a careless attitude when it comes to changing user’s privacy settings, costing at least one person their job. Remember that teacher who said that parents at her school were snobs? EPIC cited the company’s Beacon service which literally pin points your location when you post. As well as citing the company’s controversial policy of having a right to your data, even after you delete your account.
Facebook hopefully will be brought down for violating consumer protection laws with the way that it rolled out the ‘feature’. They did not give sufficient explanation or warning about ramifications to users before it went live. Somehow they got away with only saying that the whole procedure was a mistake.
Considering what happened when an artist put an App that takes pictures of people without their knowledge onto one computer in an Apple Store, the Feds reaction to what Facebook has done to millions of consumers seems rather lame. “People Looking at Computers” drew the attention of the secret service in only a matter of days. But Zuckerberg seems to have been given a free pass.
In the US everyone who has had a drivers license picture taken has been digitized. Your facial structure has been measured and turned into a mathematical formula. That formula can then be used to find people. The danger being facial recognition technology has been far from accurate giving very high false positive ratios. Up to now. By using Facebook’s vast number of photos it will allow the technology to be perfected.
You want out of the digital cage now?
Special thanks to the journalists whom I have liberally borrowed from for this article today.