We had to know this was coming: Facebook, the uber-application that has rapidly aggregated unprecedented amounts of very personal, very detailed information about 600 million humans (and counting!), now uses facial-recognition software to identify people in photographs uploaded to the service.
Each time a Facebook user “tags” someone in a photo – that is, names the people in a posted photo – the service’s computers make a note of the name and the face. With this information, aggregated across Facebook, people in other photographs can be easily identified.
Facebook honchos say the feature is all about “convenience,” but privacy advocates are calling it “creepy.” And they’ve asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate. They suggest that with this kind of information in a central database, it will become easy to take photos of a crowd of strangers and then not only identify them, but have access to mountains of information about them.