Suppose Alice appears in photos with Bob. And that Carol appears in other photos with the same Bob. Facebook can infer the Alice..Bob..Carol relationships.
If Bob "opts-out", facebook will still know that Alice appears in photos with unnamed person, and also that Carol appears with same unnamed person. So they'll infer the Alice..unnamed person..Carol relationships.
If, hypothetically, facebook offered Bob the option "do not use my face in your algorithms." Then maybe they wouldn't link Alice and Carol. But all facebook is offering here is "don't associate my face to my account".
This cleverly gives facebook some cover. Bob might ask facebook, "don't use my face to surveil my friends", but facebook can say "how could we possibly do that? We don't associate your face with your account, so we can't associate your face with your preference, even if we wanted to."
Source/Disclaimer: I work at FB and this feature is managed by my team.
And while I do want to trust you, I can’t trust that the company/industry itself wouldn’t figure out a way to exploit it at a later date :(
It really does make me sad that I can’t trust what you’re saying, i think a fundamental part of humanity is wanting that level of trust, and it’s been intentionally exploited.
How do you feel working at Facebook? Do you feel pressure from your peers on the outside about the moral compass of the company?
Maybe you can't answer these things if you aren't using a throwaway account, but I'm very interested in hearing how Facebook employees perceive the company themselves, as well as how they're treated by company outsiders.
My impression is that a lot of engineers are opposed to how Facebook operates and that this reputation must make recruiting and retention difficult.
See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19036507 or https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20768607
> Do you feel pressure from your peers on the outside about the moral compass of the company?
Pressure is too strong a word. I do get into discussions with friends and family on the topic.
> My impression is that a lot of engineers are opposed to how Facebook operates and that this reputation must make recruiting and retention difficult.
That's mostly not accurate. Remember that these engineers can freely express their opinion internally or question Zuck live every week.
In machine learning and computer vision they are a very desired company to work at, at least on the research side of things (FAIR). They have very good people and world famous ones, lots of powerful hardware to work with etc. I'm sure they have no problem with recruiting brilliant people from all over the world.
Edit: not to be snarky, because I'm pretty sure that wasn't your intention, but it sounded like you were doing exactly this:
> This cleverly gives facebook some cover. Bob might ask facebook, "don't use my face to surveil my friends", but facebook can say "how could we possibly do that? We don't associate your face with your account, so we can't associate your face with your preference, even if we wanted to."
Everyone understands how opting out works and what it means (I mean, some of your bosses pretend they don't, but even they do). Of course you can't create a template when the setting that disables template creation is on. The question is what do you do with data that you inferred in the past, and what kind of privacy can be expected if you opt out of a feature after it's been used. That's particularly important given this industry's history of opting in for you.
In the case you describe, Facebook no longer creates a Face Template, that is some kind of ML model of your face that could be used to recognize it or identify that you are the same person appearing across new pictures.
But I can’t say Facebook no longer has a record of your face. It still has some pictures, uploaded by your friends, where you appear. It won’t know that it's you OR and if your friends upload two pictures where you appear, it won't know that the same person is in both unless they tag you manually (which they can only do if you are user and authorize them - but that's a different setting).
If I understand correctly, when facebook detects faces, it does something like...
compare face to all Face Templates
associate picture and face with matched user
(maybe also update Face Template of matched user)
discard data structures created during compare
(maybe mark face as "already compared")
I don't think we go back to old photos, I suspect it would not be practical. But I am not positive on this one.
When a face -- which is unknown to Facebook -- is found in a photo, is that face used for graph building? Is a anonymous representation of it kept?
I don't see how it could work any other way.
"When you opt out of facial recognition on Facebook, the company will delete your template, meaning it will have no original reference point for your face and therefore cannot find your face at all."
When people turn off their face recognition setting, we can no longer create a face template for them for any purpose, including A.I. research,” the spokesperson told OneZero.
How else would it work?
Disclaimer: I work at Facebook and this feature is managed by my team.
Can we please have sane legal defaults like Facebook ONLY having data profiles for those who have agreed to the creation of such profiles?
Nothing will be effective short of jailtime for the execs responsible for flouting laws and public trust (not for making a mistake, but actually engineering workarounds).
Do I need to wait for this option to be rolled out to my account (and how long will that take)? Can I delete my account anyway without this option having shown up? (While ensuring FB doesn't have records of my face?)
Recently I created a new account after not having one for a while and failed the face verification thing. I wonder how that can even be possible if not that they have an idea what my face looks like already and it wasn’t the same as the one I gave.
Just so they can be sure not to re-add it later.
Yeah. That's it! And they're sticking with that story.
Trusting Facebook... rather jump down a well.
But, hey, at least FB will "delete" it!
So, yeah, I guess there's that? :(
"Throughout Facebook’s deliberately vague announcement, it takes great pains to note that the change applies only to new Facebook users and people who currently have the “tag suggestions” setting. However, Facebook migrated many, if not most, existing users from “tag suggestions” to “face recognition” in December 2017 (see here for Facebook’s explanation of the difference between tag suggestions and face recognition). That means this safeguard does not apply to the billions of current Facebook users who have already been moved."
If that URL doesn't work I went to Settings and there's a tab for "Facial Recognition" on the left rail. Between "Language and Regions" and "Notifications"
Just to confirm my experience: when I click on that link, I see "General Account Settings" (like name, username, contact... Everything that's available from the first left-hand menu choice.) And no where in that left-hand menu is there any choice about Face Recognition.
I do have a left-hand menu choice about "Timeline and Tagging" -- but there's still nothing there about face recognition.
I'd guess that it's a feature that's being gradually rolled out to all accounts.
I originally posted it because I was frustrated that I didn't see a link to the setting in the article, but I guess I understand why there was no link.
Thanks for posting the screenshot.
"These changes will be effective globally starting today."
Can't figure out why I'm not seeing them.
> ... if you’re in a photo and are part of the audience for that post, we’ll notify you, even if you haven’t been tagged. You’re in control of your image on Facebook and can make choices such as whether to tag yourself, leave yourself untagged, or reach out to the person who posted the photo if you have concerns about it.
Especially since I have never had and never will have a FB account.
The feature is now opt-in. It is turned off for all new users and for those who only had the "tag suggestion" setting on.
Good that he asked... we all should more.
One question, do you construct "templates" for faces that are unmatched by existing templates that are correlated?
This would allow a shadow face recognition profile to be generated that could be later matched to a known image.
I've had face recognition turned off anyway, and I'm not particularly concerned about it, I'm interested though in how internally FB manages "unknown" images, shadow profiles etc.
I've always wondered if COPPA could be used against Facebook with regard to this. Theoretical situation: I'm a parent and I find an image of my child (under 13 years of age). Facebook never notified me of they were storing my child's image. Facebook would argue they didn't know. But Facebook already scanned the image and likely guessed the child's age - and knew they were under 13. In that situation Facebook should be required to remove the image based on the fact they cannot notify the guardian. I realize this would have severe repercussions to their operational model, but that's also the point. Or... If I find an image Facebook didn't notify me about - then I'll take that $42,000 per image.
The details are pretty sparse. It would be nice if they clarified how they manage black-listing your template ID somewhere but still disconnect it from your profile. If you opt-ed back in at some point, they need to know to remove you from that black-list, which might imply there's still some sort of connection from your profile to a template ID or maybe the generic template still exists but they're disallowed to associate it to a profile and it's in some shadow table?
My only assumption is that Facebook is too big to properly manage that piece of specific knowledge and will delete it, but I'll still be there somewhere. Or I'll magically opt back in because of something like Messenger or whatever. Considering the news about Google circumventing their own GDPR restrictions, I just assume these companies aren't following through with any of their promises.
That sounds like a violation of the CAN-SPAM act, and you could consider suing them.
I'm not on Facebook and I don't have plans to become part of that thing for the next two centuries or so, but a lot of people I happen to share the same geographical coordinates do. They take and upload photos at events thinking everyone wants to appear in their videos. Now imagine -as someone who strives every single day to stay away from that platform and all associated things- playing an instrument at a dinner and realizing there are no less than half the people there pointing a cellphone at you. How in the Universe can I ask people I don't ever recall the name not to shoot videos of me, or at least not put them on Facebook because once they do I can't ask Facebook to delete them because I don't have a Facebook account?
The real problem here is that I am already somewhere on Facebook since forever although I firmly refuse to be part of it, and I have no way of telling them to delete all my data, short of making an account, which would negate everything I am struggling for. This is crazy.
A while ago I proposed somewhere (probably here, can't recall for sure) a barcode which if shown (worn?) tells the system used to shoot the video that the associated human doesn't want to appear, so that the whole person is deleted from the scene. Now that the random-faces technology has progressed, I would add some AI that swaps that person with a fake one so that the photo won't be ruined by an empty area.
In the meantime we could create human readable symbols telling if and how we want our image to be used and instruct people how to use them, then one day hopefully if someone posts a photo of me while wearing a patch/shirt/whatever with a crossed camera, I can force that person to delete the photo or sue the platform that keeps it online. Of course there should be exceptions for well known public figures and/or public officers during service (read: the heck I'm not uploading a photo of say police abuse even if the cop wears a 5 meters wide photo of a crossed camera!).
Click the down arrow at the top right, then Settings. There _should_ be a "Face Recognition" item in the left but not for me.
This is so frustrating and part of me thinks they just disable this for a bit so 90% of people forget.
1. Click on the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the top toolbar.
2. Scroll down, expand "Settings & Privacy" if not expanded, and click "Settings". Don't fall for those privacy shortcuts. Facebook will hide a lot of settings from you.
3. Scroll down and you should see the " Face Recognition" entry in the Privacy category.
Hope this helps.
PS: I personally find it lame, that Facebook needs to make it as much confusing as possible to find those settings.
Given fb's history of lying, it's only an assurance that they won't overtly use such data. No guarantee that they're not still storing it on a server somewhere, and good luck proving as much.
Also, what does this mean for people without accounts that are being tracked? I wonder if facial data is collected on them too, after being labeled by friends.
They've surely done many things you don't like, but they've not lied about doing those things.
When Zuckerberg testified to Congress, he said Facebook had stopped doing this years ago . Apparently he lied.
FB's entire business model is fundamentally in conflict with any semblance of privacy. Why anyone believes anything that comes out of Zuckerberg's mouth is beyond me. FB is built around exploitation of user ignorance, apathy, and unwarranted trust.
Make no mistake, no matter how much these dangerously charismatic CEOs speak about positive changes to society, modern large tech companies are 100% self serving and always engaged in carefully prepared corporate doublespeak. They don't give any kind of a shit about your privacy when it is directly tied to the bulk of their revenue. What motivation does fb actually have to delete facial recognition data like they claim, as opposed to just quietly storing it somewhere on the back end? There's no legal requirement and if they get caught, the only people who would care are the kind who by and large have already moved off FB. Meanwhile the upside is huge for future facial recognition applications - this is a massive goldmine of very sensitive personal data.
Can I tell them to delete the records of my face that they keep even though I don't have an account?
And, of course, in all instances. will they actually expunge it from all locations in their data-universe?
PS don't tell me they don't have records of my face
So now I register a new fb profile, using a picture of you, opting in to facial recognition. Now what?
They can't match the picture against your profile, because they've deleted the template?
Sort of. GDPR is so woefully under-specified in some places, and general in others, it's really entirely up to the will of the regulators what would count as a violation.
Remove yourself if you want to, but people should be aware there's also a useful side of this.
People choosing to remove their data from this should be aware that if they have visually impaired friends on facebook (or even friends of friends, depending on sharing settings) you will be degrading accessibility features that they probably use.
And it's great to let people make their own choice about whether they're OK with Facebook having face recognition of them, but encouraging people to disable it without at least mentioning that image tags are an accessibility feature is a dick move.
It's framed as just "this will remove features that you might not care about," but blind people need the image tags more than you do.
That being said, I went on my profile to check and it was already set to No (don’t do facial recognition). Is this the default? Or is this actually an old thing that I disabled a long time ago.
Until the title reads "New Law Criminalizes Sale of Private Data Without Consent", this crazy train will never stop.
Slowly, with me, now:
Hah. Hah. Hah.