Secret Image Sharing Thesis
I’ll offer three plausible use cases for facial recognition: one respectable, one mundane, and one risky.
The benign scenario: Facial recognition technology, specifically age progression capability, could help with finding missing kids.
In various versions of the meme, people were instructed to post their first profile picture alongside their current profile picture, or a picture from 10 years ago alongside their current profile picture.
So, yes: These profile pictures exist, they’ve got upload time stamps, many people have a lot of them, and for the most part they’re publicly accessible. Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics and, more specifically, on age progression (e.g., how people are likely to look as they get older).
As with hashtags that go viral, you can generally place more trust in the validity of data earlier on in the trend or campaign—before people begin to participate ironically or attempt to hijack the hashtag for irrelevant purposes.
As for bogus pictures, image recognition algorithms are plenty sophisticated enough to pick out a human face.
If you uploaded an image of a cat 10 years ago and now—as one of my friends did, adorably—that particular sample would be easy to throw out.
For its part, Facebook denies having any hand in the #10Year Challenge.
As a reminder, Facebook users can choose to turn facial recognition on or off at any time.”But even if this particular meme isn't a case of social engineering, the past few years have been rife with examples of social games and memes designed to extract and collect data.
People don’t reliably upload pictures in chronological order, and it’s not uncommon for users to post pictures of something other than themselves as a profile picture.
A quick glance through my Facebook friends’ profile pictures shows a friend’s dog who just died, several cartoons, word images, abstract patterns, and more.
The most common rebuttal was: “That data is already available.
Facebook's already got all the profile pictures.”Of course they do.