Facebook reportedly tested an app for employees, allowing them to identify people by simply pointing their camera on them as per a new report from Business Insider. How it worked was by drawing upon facebook’s pre-existing Facial recognition database. The app would be able to identify employees and friends of employees after 3 to 5 seconds, and would be genuinely useful if it wasn’t like some real-life offshoot of Black Mirror’s Nosedive once you gave it a moment’s thought.
Facial recognition is an ethical quagmire in the best of scenarios, now imagine a case where someone could point one of the many cameras we have in our pockets at you and your Facebook profile just pops up? Like Mashable points out: creepy.
While we did say that it was limited to identifying Facebook employees, Business Insider reported that Facebook later pushed out a second version that allowed users to identify anyone which the social network had data on.
“As a way to learn about new technologies, our teams regularly build apps to use internally. The apps described here were only available to Facebook employees, and could only recognize employees and their friends who had face recognition enabled,” A Facebook spokesperson said to Business Insider.
In recent times, Facebook has made moves to curtail its built-in facial recognition. Though one particular statement now stands out in light of this recent news.
“Finally, Facebook’s face recognition technology still does not recognize you to strangers. We don’t share your face recognition information with third parties,” Facebook said. Technically correct, the best kind.