Facebook built face recognition app for employees

Photo from Facebook  A ccording to an online article written by Queenie Wong of CNET, Facebook said that the discontinued app could identif...

Photo from Facebook

According to an online article written by Queenie Wong of CNET, Facebook said that the discontinued app could identify employees and their friends who had enabled facial recognition.

Facebook, which has been under fire because of privacy concerns, said it built an internal app that allowed employees to identify their colleagues and friends who enabled facial recognition by pointing their phone cameras at them. The app, reported earlier by Business Insider, wasn't released publicly.

It was reported that the app was developed between 2015 and 2016 but has been discontinued. One version of the app could identify anyone on the social network if there was enough data to do so, citing an unnamed source.

Facebook acknowledged it had developed a facial recognition app, but disputed that it could identify any member of the social network.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to CNET, “The app described here was only available to Facebook employees, and could only recognize employees and their friends who had face recognition enabled.”

Business Insider reported that the app was in its early stages where employees would point their phone camera at another person and after a few seconds, it would display their Facebook name and profile picture.

It highlights how Facebook experimented with features that could heighten the anxiety of people worried about their privacy. The said app was built before the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, which has sparked more scrutiny of Facebook and its efforts to safeguard the privacy of its users in which UK political consultancy harvested data from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their consent. Following this scandal, a record of $5 billion was fined to Facebook by the Federal Trade Commission because of its privacy mishaps.

Also, the said social network has garnered criticism for using facial recognition in the past. A feature that suggested “tags” for your Facebook photos was the center of a 2015 lawsuit that alleged Facebook violated an Illinois biometric privacy law. When you are “tagged” in a photo, it creates a link to your Facebook profile and used to be turned on by default unless you chose to opt out of it, but Facebook this year made it opt-in.

Source: www.cnet.com



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