Over the past weeks, various social media platform were flooded with Posts/pictures captioned #10YEARSCHALLENGE. If you are an active social media user you might have come across the ’10 years challenge’ or even participated in it as a way of having fun or reflecting how far you have come as a person.
Facebook a giant social media firm that owns both Whatsapp and Instagram took the lead with millions of its users flooding the site with posts of people sharing photos of themselves today alongside images of themselves a 10 years ago.
While such posts may seem as nothing and did not prove any danger, various reports from Cyber security analysts have alleged that that these images are being collected by Facebook for analysis and perhaps for studying in regards to the impact of aging on facial recognition system.
According to Wikipedia a facial recognition system is a technology capable of identifying or verifying a person from a digital image or a video frame. The system work by comparing selected facial features from given image with faces within a database.
Since early 2010, Facebook has been using facial recognition technology to help bring people closer together on Facebook.
According to the giant tech firm, the technology analyzes the pixels in photos you’re already tagged in and generates a string of numbers called template. When photos and videos are uploaded to their systems, their compare those images to the templates.
As most Cyber security analysts say, Facial recognition tool can be used for good purposes – like helping people securely unlock their mobile devices, log into their bank accounts and make digital payments. It can help people organize their photos and share them with friends. It’s even being used to find missing and kidnapped children. Can also be used to reunite “separated-at-birth fraternal twins”. However that is not always the case.
The concept can be used for illegal and forbidden surveillance. The technology can further be used to track your location and even pinpoint you in public using street cameras. This puts your privacy in danger and it can be used for all the wrong reasons. In the hands of the wrong person, this technology can act as a blackmailing tool as scammers will have access to your location at all times.
According Kate O’Neill, a writer for Wired “This challenge gives Facebook the opportunity to have a “clean” version of who you are by the context you add such as telling your age in the photo, year or other given information that you share in the post.”
Experts said the photos uploaded for the #10YearChallenge were drops in a very, very big bucket of data that Facebook has been collecting for years and they are yet to understands how and where The said data would be used.
Over the years Facebook has come under heavy criticism for selling out users’ personal data to third parties.
However Facebook has responded to the concerns about photos and privacy. The company said it does not intend to help strangers identify you, and has repeatedly pointed out that users can disable face recognition in their personal settings.
The 10 year challenge is a user-generated meme that started on its own, without our involvement. It’s evidence of the fun people have on Facebook, and that’s it.
— Facebook (@facebook) January 16, 2019