Gadgets Magazine

Facebook Can Identify You Without Seeing Your Face

Posted on the 26 June 2015 by Anna Peterson

Are you an easy target? Tag-wise, that is. If your Facebook photos tend to feature you dressed in more-or-less the same way, then, we’re sorry to inform you, but… you are. Then again, so is Mark Zuckerberg (can you picture him in anything else other than a gray T-shirt and/or a hoodie? Not really, no). Now back to you. Facebook’s facial recognition has been evolving in the past few years and now it can actually identify you without even seeing your face. Your clothes, hair and body type are all it needs and tag, you’re it!

Facebook Algorithm Learning from Humans

Girl hiding her face

It’s widely known Facebook is already so advanced that it can track people’s faces and tag our names without our explicit help. Still, that achievement alone didn’t seem to be enough for the mighty social network. The brains of the operation strove to find a way for robots to take cues from their environment the way humans do. You know how you can tell if it’s your friend coming to meet you from 900 feet away just by that familiar gait? Kinda like that. The goal was for Facebook to identify you even if your face is hidden by focusing on other distinctive parts of you. And so an algorithm was created and, lo and behold, it managed to recognize people with 83 percent accuracy.

Naturally, there have been protests and plain freak-outs over this latest AI development. Being recognized without even looking at the camera breaches some serious privacy rights and so far Europe seems to be pretty heavy on VETOing this feature. The U.S, though, not so much. You could always dye your hair purple or dress in a ball gown, though. That should do it.

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