What’s the Latest Development?
Rather than laboriously tagging photos of your friends, Facebook released facial recognition software last winter that makes educated guesses about who is in your photos. Rolling out the software slowly and allowing users to opt out quelled criticism but a new study from Carnegie Mellon “finds that the technology can help researchers locate people’s social security numbers, just from the information on their Facebook profiles and their photo.” With a 30 percent success rate, researchers were able to find the last five digits of an individual’s social security number.
What’s the Big Idea?
Facebook has become notorious for its violations of privacy, simultaneously earning it the status of the world’s most loved and hated website. Because most people on Facebook use their real identity, the social networking platform has become a powerful identification tool. And while we are accustomed to thinking about Internet privacy as regards our online lives, given advances in programs like facial recognition software, we should consider how online privacy will affect our real lives. Facebook currently faces legislation over giving user data to advertisers.