Facebook is facing another privacy-related lawsuit from Austrian law student Max Schrems and his Europe Versus Facebook group, but this time, the class-action suit will be heard on the group’s home turf in Austria, rather than in Ireland, where Facebook’s European operations are based.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy — which filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission earlier this month against Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of cross-platform messaging company WhatsApp, alleging that the privacy of current WhatsApp users will be affected by Facebook’s use of their information — filed an update with the FTC Friday, in response to a blog post by WhatsApp Co-Founder and CEO Jan Koum earlier this week.
An accuracy rate of 97.25 percent is fairly impressive in most cases, and when it comes to facial recognition, DeepFace, a facial-verification software project being developed by Facebook, reached that level, according to a research paper released by the social network last week, which added that human beings shown two unfamiliar photos of faces were able to identify whether or not the subjects were the same person 97.53 percent of the time, barely edging out DeepFace.
EDITED: Not With Facial-Recognition Technology, But Facebook Helps Catch Creator, Distributor Of Child Abuse Images
Facebook’s use of facial-recognition technology has come under much scrutiny, particularly in Europe, but it also helped lead to the arrest of a man in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for possessing images of child abuse. UPDATED: As it turns out, while Facebook did assist law enforcement with the investigation, the social network’s facial-recognition technology was not a part of the process.
The use of facial-recognition technology is a contentious one, both on Facebook and overall, and the social network is one of several companies that will assist the Department of Commerce in crafting a voluntary code for its use.
Facebook’s tag suggest feature for photos has seen its share of controversy, particularly in Europe, and the social network revealed Thursday in its new data use policy that it may begin collecting users’ profile pictures for a database aimed at improving the feature.
One of the chief complaints among Facebook users is that the changes to privacy controls have been far too confusing, with little effort in educating the users. Facebook’s No. 2 official — Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg — agrees. She admitted during a launch party in London for her book, Lean In, that one of the key mistakes the company has made was not explaining privacy controls better.
Beyond Facebook’s Makeover: If Text Is ‘Dead,’ How Will Advertisers (Finally) Start Monetizing Photos?
Remember the kindergarten game, “Show and Tell?” Based on its more mobile-friendly News Feed redesign, it appears that Facebook will now be more show than tell — or, to be more precise, it will be burying the tell in billions of pictures. The shift to a “personal newspaper” format with larger and more prominent photo displays is a response to photo-driven behavior that has rapidly changed the social media landscape. Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says 50 percent of all posts are now pictures, double the amount from just one year ago.