Facebook wants to add profile pictures to its facial recognition database

your facebook profile picture may be added to a facial recognition database 001 1

Facebook may add the majority of its users into a facial recognition database, according to Reuters.

The social network is considering this change to beef up their “Tag Suggest” feature, so that users can more easily identify the friends in their pictures.

Using facial recognition software makes it easier for people to tag their friends because the software compares the faces in new shots to people in other pictures on the website and offers suggestions as to who is in the photo, so that users won’t have to manually search for their friends. Right now, the current iteration of facial recognition software on Facebook only compares faces with photos in which people have been tagged in the past, but the update would use the software to comb through all photos on Facebook. This means your face could get pulled up from a sweaty night-out photo you made your friend de-tag for posterity.

Creating this more extensive database could marginally improve the user experience for tagging, but don’t expect this change to come without resistance.

Facial recognition technology is a sticky subject — many people are uncomfortable with the idea that their photos can be analyzed to spot future pictures of themselves. The privacy concerns raised by facial recognition software are severe enough in Europe that German regulators said that Facebook’s facial recognition software violated EU privacy laws, and Facebook made changes to its facial recognition policy following an investigation by Ireland’s Data Protection Committee. More recently, people have been concerned enough by facial recognition to create privacy visors, which obscure the face so it can’t be read.

Considering how hostile people are to the idea of extensive facial recognition — just look at the pains Google took to assure people that Glass would not have facial recognition capabilities — it’s a bold move on Facebook’s part to be publicly mulling over this possibility, especially considering the relatively limited payoff for the user.

Tagging friends in photos isn’t a difficult task without facial recognition software, since you can just search for a friend’s name and then click on it — it’s not like you have to manually scroll through all of your friends to find their name. It takes just a few seconds to type in the beginning of a friend’s name before it comes up. Yes, improving the tagging feature with facial recognition software would eliminate the need to manually type the letters of your friend’s name, but it would come at the cost of knowing your face is in a database. Especially since Facebook just released a report detailing how often the government requested information from the service, the idea that its facial recognition software is growing more sophisticated raises more privacy concerns than ever.

Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings. 
Social Media

LinkedIn finally gets around to launching its own live video tool

Live video is coming to LinkedIn for businesses and individuals on the site. The livestreaming feature is launching in beta in the U.S. before rolling out to the entire community.