Facebook & Its Lies: Facial Recognition Edition

As you know, there is no love lost between Facebook and me over its constant abuse of our privacy. You also know, how I feel about the disingenuous nature of its comments and policies. So perhaps it is good to hear that others are exposing Facebook’s privacy hypocrisy. 

“Facebook routinely makes misrepresentations to induce consumers to adopt wider and more pervasive uses of facial recognition technology,” a complaint filed with FTC. 


“When Tag Suggestions asks you ‘Is this Jill?’ you don’t think you are annotating faces to improve Facebook’s face recognition algorithm,.Even the premise is an unfair use of people’s time and labor.” Brian Brackeen, the chief executive of Kairos, a facial recognition company.


“Facebook is somehow threatening me that, if I do not buy into face recognition, I will be in danger. It goes completely against the European law because it tries to manipulate consent.”  Viviane Reding, the former justice commissioner of the European Commission who is now a member of the European Parliament.


“Facebook tries to explain their practices in ways that make Facebook look like the good guy, that they are somehow protecting your privacy. But it doesn’t get at the fact that they are scanning every photo.” Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group.

Bottomline: if you are going to complain about Facebook and visual data it is amassing, don’t forget that they own Instagram and are using the tools to get people to hand over a lot more personal information via photos than you think. In other words, Europe and other critics need to make sure that Facebook 2.0 (aka Instagram) doesn’t slip under the door and escape from these charges, 

A letter from Om

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