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Tech & Science Facebook built a facial recognition app for employees

12:06  25 november  2019
12:06  25 november  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Facial recognition protesters put smartphones on their heads to scan the faces of 13,000 Washington DC inhabitants

  Facial recognition protesters put smartphones on their heads to scan the faces of 13,000 Washington DC inhabitants Three activists wandered around busy spots in Washington DC on Thursday using cameraphones to run people's faces through facial recognition software in protest against growing use of the technology. The software they used was Rekognition, Amazon's commercially available and sometimes controversial facial recognition tool.The protesters collected 13,740 face scans, including one congressman.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Protesters against facial recognition donned white hazmat suits and cameras to collect face scans of more than 13,000 people.

A Facebook spokesperson says that the facial recognition app could only identify the faces of people working at Facebook and the Facebook friends of the employees if they have turned on the facial recognition feature in their accounts. As per Business Insider’s sources, the app had a very primitive

Facebook acknowledged it had developed a facial recognition app , but disputed that it could identify any member of the social network. "The apps described here were only available to Facebook employees , and could only recognize employees and their friends who had face recognition

Facebook logo. © Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook logo.

Facebook , which has been under fire because of privacy concerns, said Thursday 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.

Citing anonymous sources, Business Insider reported the app was developed between 2015 and 2016 but has since been discontinued. One version of the app could identify anyone on the social network if there was enough data to do so, BI reported, citing an unnamed source.

Microsoft hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate an Israeli facial recognition company that it invested in

  Microsoft hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate an Israeli facial recognition company that it invested in Microsoft hired US Attorney General Eric Holder to audit an Israeli facial recognition company called AnyVision. Microsoft invested in AnyVision this summer via M12, its venture capital arm. Microsoft's investment was met with backlash by the ACLU. News reports suggest AnyVision's technology is secretly used to monitor Palestinian residents in the West Bank. AnyVision has denied that it uses facial recognition for surveillance in the West Bank. Microsoft has worked to establish itself as a leader in tech industry ethics, including by publishing in December six principles to guide its facial recognition work.

Facebook 's stance on facial recognition has changed as of late, but its past enthusiasm for the technology may have been stronger than previously In a statement to CNET, a spokesperson said the app could only detect employees and friends who "had face recognition enabled."

Wow, Facebook Really Made a Facial Recognition App for Its Employees . While it may seem like much ado about a defunct company app , this news gives us a better idea on the extent to which Facebook experimented and fine-tuned the kind of facial recognition technology it later incorporated

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

"As a way to learn about new technologies, our teams regularly build apps to use internally," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to CNET. "The app described here were only available to Facebook employees, and could only recognize employees and their friends who had face recognition enabled."

Facial recognition makes subtle advance in Britain

  Facial recognition makes subtle advance in Britain The experiment was conducted discreetly. Between 2016 and 2018, two surveillance cameras were installed in the Kings Cross area of London to analyse and track passers-by using facial recognition technology. The deployment of the cutting-edge technology at one of the British capital's busiest transport hubs, which was first revealed in the Financial Times, has fuelled controversy in Britain where its use does not yet have a legal framework.The company in charge of the project argued it has acted "only to help the police... prevent and detect crimes in the area", and that it had no commercial use.

Facebook once built an internal app that let employees identify people using facial recognition and their phone cameras. The app , which was developed The app was not released publicly, and Facebook tells Business Insider that it only worked on company employees and any of their friends.

Facebook 's stance on facial recognition has changed as of late, but its past enthusiasm for the technology may have been stronger than previously thought. Business Insider has learned (subscription required)

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

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

Facebook has also 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 someone "tags" you in a photo, it creates a link to your Facebook profile. The feature used to be turned on by default unless you chose to opt out of it, but Facebook this year made it opt-in.

DHS may require US citizens be photographed at airports .
DALLAS (AP) — Federal officials are considering requiring that all travelers — including American citizens — be photographed as they enter or leave the country as part of an identification system using facial-recognition technology. The Department of Homeland Security says it expects to publish a proposed rule next July. Officials did not respond to requests for more details. Critics are already raising objections. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass.,The Department of Homeland Security says it expects to publish a proposed rule next July. Officials did not respond to requests for more details.

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