A quiet entry into the area of photo tagging was made over the weekend by none other than Microsoft, as VentureBeat discovered new Windows 8.1 application AutoTag ‘n Search My Photos, which is not available via the Microsoft Research downloads page, or via the Windows Store.
FacialNetwork CEO Kevin Alan Tussy said in a press release that shortly after his company released the second demonstration video for its NameTag facial-recognition search engine, he received a cease-and-desist letter from Facebook, which had already taken away FacialNetwork’s access to Facebook Login.
Facebook has quietly brought facial-recognition technology back in Europe after disabling its tag suggest feature there in October 2012, but it only works on friends from the U.S. who have enabled the tag suggest option in their profile settings, according to a report by TechCrunch.
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.