The tech company...has teamed up with Ray-Ban to develop a range of smart glasses. While it’s not clear exactly what these devices will do yet, Buzzfeed has reported that Facebook is considering building facial recognition capabilities into them. During an internal meeting on Thursday, Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s vice-president of augmented and virtual reality, told employees that Facebook was currently assessing the legal issues surrounding this.
Isn't technology wonderful?
Legal issues are one thing, but what about the very obvious ethical and privacy issues? Would you be able to mark your face as “unsearchable?”, one employee asked. And what about the potential for “real-world harm” and “stalkers”? Bosworth replied: “Face recognition … might be the thorniest issue, where the benefits are so clear, and the risks are so clear, and we don’t know where to balance those things.”
So we do research, and testing, and find out! No?
What kind of benefits could possibly balance the risk of making life extremely easy for stalkers and creeps?
Err, well, who wants to tell her?
Well, Bosworth later said on Twitter, it could help people with prosopagnosia, a neurological condition where you can’t recognize people’s faces.
Tech making the lives of the disabled better, hurrah!
More generally, Bosworth said, it would be super handy when you run into someone at a party and can’t remember their name. Ah yes, I can totally see how avoiding a little social awkwardness balances out the whole stalker thing!
Oh. It seems anything that has a potential drawback is verboten in MsMahdawi's world.
Facebook, of course, may not end up building facial recognition into its glasses. However, the fact it is even considering doing so is a disturbing reminder of how little ownership we currently have over our own faces. Several photos of your face, for example, are probably in Clearview AI’s database.
There's lots of photos of my face - in the Oyster database, my company's pass system...
Do I care? No. Because I'm not a superstitious peasant who thinks my soul has been swallowed up by big tech.
Got another angle, Arwa?
As well as being intrusive, facial recognition technology is plagued with problems. It doesn’t work as well on people with darker skin, for one thing. At least three black men have been falsely arrested based on a bad facial recognition match.
Ah. The racism card. Now we all know your argument is pants, love.