back to article Facebook conjures up a trap for the unwary: scanning your camera for your friends

Facebook has decided it doesn't pester its users enough, so it's going to use its facial recognition technology as the basis of a new nag-screen. The ad network is testing a feature in its Android app that will scan a user's recent images for photos that look like their friends. If it spots a match, it'll ask if the photos …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. FozzyBear Silver badge
    Devil

    Yeah.. No thanks

    My only suggestion to Zuck and his mates is for the opt out button to be nice and big with the helpful text of "fuck off" in nice big bold caps.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah.. No thanks

      My only suggestion to Zuck and his mates is for the opt out button to be nice and big with the helpful text of "fuck off" in nice big bold caps.

      The only opt out that really works is leaving Facebook altogether (just read their conditions and you'll see that you're otherwise to be milked in full), but it has been clever enough to make itself part of people's social life :(.

      1. boltar

        Re: Yeah.. No thanks

        "but it has been clever enough to make itself part of people's social life :(."

        What people? Its never has been and never will be part of mine or most of my friends. If others are stupid enough to post their lives online then frankly they deserve what they get.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yeah.. No thanks

          If others are stupid enough to post their lives online then frankly they deserve what they get.

          You would get the same reaction from a banker when he saw you took out a loan or did not pay your credit card in full at the end of the month, just as an example.

          I cannot condemn people for being innocent and a little bit naïve because they don't happen to have my specific expertise. That sort of arrogance is what gives IT people such a bad name - try to help instead.

          1. boltar

            Re: Yeah.. No thanks

            "I cannot condemn people for being innocent and a little bit naïve because they don't happen to have my specific expertise. That sort of arrogance is what gives IT people such a bad name - try to help instead."

            Oh please. You don't have to be in IT to know that publically posting your details will seriously impact on your future privacy. These people wouldn't post them on a sheet of A4 and stick it to a lamp post yet they seem to think its ok online. Quite how their reasoning works there is anyones guess.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Yeah.. No thanks

              @boltar -

              "You don't have to be in IT to know that publically posting your details will seriously impact on your future privacy."

              I'm afraid you're wrong about that. Most Facebook users I've asked think that their data is 'private' and is only shared with people they know. There is a prevailing cluelessness about the evils which lie within the Facebook corporation's user agreement.

              None I have ever spoken to have any awareness at all of the invasive cross-site tracking which Facebook performs even with the user logged out. Remember, Zukerberg himself referred to his user base as 'morons', probably with some small justification from a certain point of view.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Yeah.. No thanks

              Oh please. You don't have to be in IT to know that publically posting your details will seriously impact on your future privacy.

              OK, here I have to jump in.

              First of all, few know what privacy actually is, let alone appreciate it or they would not even use Facebook, Google or any other service of that type.

              Secondly, even fewer have any kind of idea what the impact is of a loss of privacy. The majority will go through life without any impact whatsoever on their lives, it's only those that got burned via malicious activity (trolling, ID theft or other) that develop an idea of the risk they have been exposing themselves to. If you want any evidence of that, just see ho hard it is to stop otherwise intelligent adults posting something that can expose them to risk. Interior design (nicely showing off all the kit they have), holiday plans/pictures (so it's safe to raid the house) - and that's just burglars.

              Thirdly, as few ADULTS have a clue, just what sort of clue do you reckon children have? Rerember, kids have the ability to legalise data collection off them as young as 13. I know adults who are not clued up about the impact (see point 2 above), I certainly have no expectation that children think ahead, even though they are more comfortable with the technology itself.

              To counter crooks you have to learn to think like a crook. I think it's actually a good sign from a humanitarian perspective that the majority of the population cannot do that. Personally, I see preserving that innocence as a rather important aspect of security work. We deal with the evil part so our customers don't have to.

            3. fruitoftheloon
              Happy

              @Boltar: Re: Yeah.. No thanks

              Boltar,

              so presumably all of the 'yoof' that have made your acquaintance follow your sage advice 100% then?.

              Ooi in principle I actually agree with you...

              Regards,

              jay

          2. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: Yeah.. No thanks

            You would get the same reaction from a banker when he saw you took out a loan or did not pay your credit card in full at the end of the month, just as an example.

            I doubt that you would get that loan or CC without having had to read and sign beforehand the T&C, which tends state the amount you need to pay back and such.

            Farcebook has the rather annoying habit of changing their T&C to fit their latest info-grabbing venture. Such a change to a loan contract (except the contractually provided-for variations in interest rates) would lead to interesting.cn repercussions for the provider.

            1. tony2heads
              Devil

              Re: Yeah.. No thanks

              Zuck is just copying his Sith Master

        2. John 104

          Re: Yeah.. No thanks

          A hearty million thumbs up to you, Boltar.

        3. bep

          Re: Yeah.. No thanks...but

          "most of my friends." Sorry old boy, unless it's NONE of your friends, then you may and probably do have skin in the game - I suggest you read the article again. Unfortunately the only way to find out for sure is to play, and Facebook makes the rules.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yeah.. No thanks

        The only opt out that really works is leaving Facebook altogether

        Or even better - never sign up with them in the first place!

      3. Someone Else Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Yeah.. No thanks

        The only opt out that really works is leaving Facebook altogether (just read their conditions and you'll see that you're otherwise to be milked in full), but it has been clever enough to make itself part of people'sthe least common denominator of society's social life :(.

        There, FTFY

      4. PNGuinn
        Mushroom

        Re: Yeah.. No thanks

        Actually, this could be enormous fun. Even worth setting up an account for. Under an appropriate name, of course. Possibly.

        Imagine:

        Get your"self" friended or whatever the word is by as many self seeking self important idiots as you like. As high a profile as possible.

        A set of photos, some slightly dodgy - nothing illeagal of course, but people - or animals - that farcebook might "recognise" as certain people - innocently designed to be possibly somewhat offensive and definately not pc to said obnoxiorati.

        Wait for the recognition algorithms to do their work.

        BINGO.

    2. g e

      Re: Yeah.. No thanks

      What a massive fucking waste of battery.

      I just ordered a SONY Z5 - FB really expected to be 'scanning' 23MP images for fizzogs? Piss off.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Yeah.. No thanks

      "zuck off", maybe?

    4. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Yeah.. No thanks

      Had to nip out to the post office yesterday just after kicking out time at the local Schools. On the bus ride there I was joined at the back of the upper deck by several spotty teenage youth in uniform. One of them had an impressively high resolution image of one lady and four men engaged in what I now understand is a position referred to as 'airtight'. His phone was filled with such images and as this was the latest addition he was bluetoothing to his mates sitting around him. One of them asked if phone boy had updated his Facebook app to the new version as I was getting up to get off. Can't imagine what the facial recognition software will make of his phone and the contents

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yeah.. No thanks

        Smut filter overload probably. Reminds me of Ronnie Barker in Porridge when his locker is opened to show the prison visitors how he has personalised the cell. Being confronted by pictures of page 3 stunnas he says those two are the wife and that's the wifes sister.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        airtight

        surely airtight would be 1 lady and 3 men? I can't imagine what the fourth man is for and I'm too scared to start googling it....

      3. John Presland

        Re: Yeah.. No thanks

        FOUR orifices plugged?

        1. chr0m4t1c

          Re: Yeah.. No thanks

          That still leaves one ear....

          1. fruitoftheloon
            Joke

            chr...: Re: Yeah.. No thanks

            Nostrils...?

    5. PNGuinn
      Thumb Up

      Re: Yeah.. No thanks

      ....nice and big with the helpful text of "zuck off" in nice big bold caps.

      there, FIFY

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's an opt out...?

    Opt-out instead of opt-in?

    The only thing that could make this worse, is if the Facebook app transmits all of the user's photo's to the FB servers prior to processing. If it does, they'll be building up a BlackmailBook pretty damn quickly.

    1. Detective Emil
      Black Helicopters

      Re: There's an opt out...?

      Face recognition is fairly expensive, so it's hard to do in a way that would work acceptably (time, memory use, battery impact) on everything, including low-end Android kit, without sending something to a server farm. Both Android and iOS ship with face detection frameworks, but you have to use third party IP for face detection. If your Android device happens to have a Snapdragon (S4 or better) CPU, Qualcomm can help you; on iOS, you'd love to be able to get at Apple's proprietary image signal processor to do the job but, AFAICT, Apple won't let you. So what I'd do is pick out possible faces using the built-in framework, and send just those image fragments to the server farm. Less scope for blackmail, but still greater than zero.

      1. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: There's an opt out...?

        "Face recognition is fairly expensive, so it's hard to do in a way that would work acceptably (time, memory use, battery impact) on everything, including low-end Android kit, without sending something to a server farm."

        Indeed, but that doesn't really help matters. If they try to do the work locally on your phone, it will use up all your battery. If they try to ship it off to a data centre somewhere, it will use up all your data allowance. And of course, sending data also uses up the battery to some extent. So even if people are happy with the idea of Facebook scanning everything they ever do on their phone, I can't see how anyone could actually want such a system simply because there's no way for it to work without completely fucking up the normal working of their phone.

        1. Patched Out

          Re: There's an opt out...?

          Are you sure face recognition is that computationally intensive or power sucking? My 3 year old Panasonic Lumix camera has a face recognition feature where you take reference shots of your family members (or anyone else) which are stored in the camera. It can then find them in a group photo and make sure they are in focus/properly exposed when the shot is taken. All processing done within the camera. Even works with pets.

  4. stizzleswick
    FAIL

    This Zucks.

    Sorry for the bad pun, but this just re-confirms my decision to never, ever, get a Bacefook account. My privacy is worth more to me than the convenience of just about everything Mark Z's service offers. Have something important to tell me? I've got a phone. Something not quite that important? Got an email address. I have no need to spread out my private life for the whole world including various secret services to peruse, and if I have something to tell a buddy... I have their phone number or email address. And public keys.

    Plus, honestly? I don't have the time to check in with I don't know how many services online; Facebook, Xing, whatever else certain people expect me to be on. I'll stick with what I can reliably encrypt, thank you very much.

    1. Mayhem

      Re: This Zucks.

      The problem is that even if you don't have a Facebook account, your friends probably do.

      And if they upload photos with you in the background, and then tag you by name, Facebook now knows who you are.

      Look up Shadow Profiles, which is basically the metadata based profile that Facebook has of you based on the contents of your friends address books and posting history. They generally know your public email address, phone number, and who you associate with. It is the same tech that Linkedin uses to suggest people you might know - and you do - but have no idea how Linkedin associated you with them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This Zucks.

        but have no idea how Linkedin associated you with them.

        I'd hope most people round here can work that out, as it is largely by tracking multiple common contacts. If you know Joe, Steve, Helen, and those three all know Kevin, it isn't a bad guess that you might know Kevin. This works both within and outside companies, but the guess element is easily improved by adding in other common factors (eg places you worked before, industry you work in, your work specialisms, places of study.

        The there's more presumptious guesswork, that if you know four people in your company's finance department, then even if they aren't showing as contacts with Roy in finance, you might still know him. Linkedin can test this out by continuously offering suggestions of other names in Finance. This then allows them to fine tune the algorythms to make them more effective. I've noticed that it even offers up names of people on functional working groups that I've been on that go across multiple industries and employers, but it tends to suggest people whose workplace specialisms are similar to mine, showing that there's multiple correlations been established.

        1. Mayhem

          Re: This Zucks.

          @AC.

          Yes, the common contacts is obvious. But I only use Linkedin for professional connections. Where Linkedin often surprises me is "you might know" and gives me a name of someone I haven't spoken to in 20 years, have no connections in common with, and knew in a totally different context to my industry. Like my parent's friends' children.

          And yes, I do know them, but how the hell Linkedin knows I do is cleverer than simply looking at email addresses or common friends.

        2. Vic

          Re: This Zucks.

          If you know Joe, Steve, Helen, and those three all know Kevin, it isn't a bad guess that you might know Kevin

          This is a problem. LinkedIn keeps asking me if I know Darl McBride...

          I really want them to add a button "Yes, but he's a twat". For reasons entirely unrelated to the above, I assure you...

          Vic.

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: This Zucks.

      > Bacefook

      That's awful. The correct portmanteau to us is "TwitFace"

    3. Someone Else Silver badge
      WTF?

      @ stizzleswick -- Re: This Zucks.

      My privacy is worth more to me than the convenience of just about everything Mark Z's service offers.

      FacePlant offers "convenience features" to the hoi polloi? Who knew?

      I'm sure all the "features" are for Fuckerberg's "convenience"...

  5. DougS Silver badge

    Why are they always testing this stuff in Australia?

    Is the police state worse over there so the population is more docile and accepting of such privacy intrusions?

    Once again I'm glad for iOS' security model that lets me prevent Facebook from accessing my photos. If I want to upload a photo to it I can give access just long enough to do so, then revoke it immediately after!

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Why are they always testing this stuff in Australia?

      Because the facial recognition is easier... everyone's called Bruce, or Shelia.

      1. AndyS

        Re: Why are they always testing this stuff in Australia?

        "Hi Bruce. You're friends with Sheila and Bruce. They're both friends with Sheila, do you know Sheila?"

        Later, talking to Sheila, "Hey, why did you add Sheila on Facebook? Bruce told me you and Sheila used to go out, are you hiding something Bruce?"

    2. Chris 155

      Re: Why are they always testing this stuff in Australia?

      Android actually has that now, finally. Only in M of course, and vendors may take it away, but it is there.

    3. Alan_Peery

      Re: Why are they always testing this stuff in Australia?

      Scale -- Australia's Facebook population is a big enough data set to be a good test, without the scale of other countries.

  6. AndyFl

    As if Facebook don't have enough problems with the EU data protection authorities

    I can predict what will happen the moment they try to let this 'feature' loose in the EU. Calling Max Schrems ...

    On the other hand GCHQ and NSA will love it as they can crawl through everyone's photo archive as it is uploaded to the FB servers for processing. Gives them another chance when the user disables the Google sync on their tablet/phone.

    /me orders popcorn ready for the show

    1. Jamie Kitson

      Re: As if Facebook don't have enough problems with the EU data protection authorities

      Seems extremely unlikely that this feature will ever come to Europe since they (and Google) already don't do facial recognition in Europe.

      https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/09/23/under-pressure-facebook-disables-facial-recognition-in-europe/

  7. Nigel Brown

    Simple solution

    Use a browser, not the app.

    1. Your alien overlord - fear me

      Re: Simple solution

      Friends don't let friends use Farcebork.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Simple solution

      That's exactly what I do - partly because I don't want it accessing my contact list and partly because I don't trust it to not access anything else.

      I might install the app once the android privacy settings allow me to control permissions reliably.

    3. A K Stiles

      Re: Simple solution

      It's remarkable how, not having the app installed and only accessing it through the browser, it doesn't eat my battery, nor does it pop up alerts every 5 seconds to tell me another friend has shared that same cat video.

      Now if only I could persuade the Kindle app to stop alerting me to "40 new books under £1", none of which I'm ever going to read...

      1. AndyS

        Re: Simple solution

        "Now if only I could persuade the Kindle app to stop alerting me to "40 new books under £1", none of which I'm ever going to read..."

        Long press the notification, go to App Info, untick the box that allows it to show notifications.

        Do this for all of Amazon's apps (and any others that send unsolicited commercial messages), and you get a much nicer Android experience.

        1. A K Stiles
          Pint

          Re: Simple solution

          Thanks AndyS - I clearly hadn't R'd TFM on the notifications long press thing. Most helpful.

          Have one of these on me, should we chance to meet.

    4. Andy the ex-Brit

      Re: Simple solution

      ... and save like 400 MB on the phone, too.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Hey Facebook

    Stick it up ya baroque maze!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    well done!

    the more "in your face" they get, the more idiots become aware of privacy issues. Couldn't devise a better pro-privacy campaign. And look, absolutely free!!!! Click here to "like"...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: well done!

      "Couldn't devise a better pro-privacy campaign."

      I doubt it. AFAICS the mentality of the Facebook generation is such that they'll lap it up.

  11. Yugguy

    This is why, kids

    This sort of shite is exactly why I do not, and never will, use this wretched "service" despite nagging from friends and family. The other day I started to install the android client just to show the missus the collosal list of permissions Facebook asks for but shouldn't really need.

    And while us IT-literate people might be conscious of just how intrusive Facebook wants to be, believe me the average punter out there neither knows nor cares.

    1. Fitz_

      Re: This is why, kids

      The worst part is that Facebook probably already have your mobile number and details from siphoning it off from other people's phones.

      Coupled with if you use Whatsapp for example, they know who you are and who your friends are, and could probably deduce what you look like from friend's photos, even though you don't use Facebook.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: This is why, kids

        FB & C. should be forbidden by law to store any data about people who didn't subscribe to their services.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is why, kids

        The worst part is that Facebook probably already have your mobile number and details from siphoning it off from other people's phones.

        Coupled with if you use Whatsapp for example, they know who you are and who your friends are, and could probably deduce what you look like from friend's photos, even though you don't use Facebook.

        And therein lies the biggest problem with any Data Protection law you care to mention: they are under no obligation whatsoever to tell you they have this data of yours, nor do you have any way of stopping them bribing your friends with "free" service and apps to provide that information about yours, even unwittingly.

        FB & C. should be forbidden by law to store any data about people who didn't subscribe to their services. (from another post in the thread)

        I would love to see a way to make that enforceable, but alas, I do not hold much hope for it. Not because it's impossible, but because it would so dramatically kill their ability to make money with data theft that it would cause problems with, er, certain campaign funding activities..

  12. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    There's already an opt out

    It says something like "recognise me in other people's photos". I'm a bit hazy what it actually says because it's a few months since I went poking around in privacy but there's a setting that means FB will never use face recognition to tag you in someone else's photo.

    At least, there used to be...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's already an opt out

      On the other hand, to omit you means that they have already got facial information about you and a list of every single photo you are in. It just means it is only available to Facebook staff and hackers, not the product.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: There's already an opt out

      It says something like "recognise me in other people's photos"

      That's for Farcebook customers products.

      How about whe some idiot has tagged me*? Will Farcebook then use that info to tag other photos in which I show up? I'll be mightily surprised if the answer is 'no'.

      * Needless to say, the info Farcebook has on me will only be through other people providing that info.

      1. LDS Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: There's already an opt out

        Don't worry, you just need to register with them to opt-out...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's already an opt out

        How about whe some idiot has tagged me*? Will Farcebook then use that info to tag other photos in which I show up? I'll be mightily surprised if the answer is 'no'.

        Ah, but the fun part is that YOU approve a tag, so if you absolutely have to use FB it is a fun exercise to go and tag other faces with your name every once in a while. Just make sure your own profile is free of images with your real face on it (avoid that on LinkedIn as well, for the same reasons). There are two ways to screw up meta data collection: one is to prevent it, but another one is to snow it with fake data. Tag the occasional senior citizen and child as well, that makes a mess of data matching via age bands too.

        Stop thinking of these things as problems. Instead, start thinking about how you can turn something like that into entertainment - the above is but an example. Personally, I pity the poor schmuck who gets the job of collecting data on me :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There's already an opt out

          That's exactly what I did. I have a large assortment of non-me pics tagged, and no actual pics of me posted online. Anything tagged by others gets the tags promptly removed by me. Facebook makes it difficult to find and do, however.

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: There's already an opt out

          "Ah, but the fun part is that YOU approve a tag, so if you absolutely have to use FB it is a fun exercise to go and tag other faces with your name every once in a while."

          To judge from an earlier post, at least some school-children are already aware of this and are busily collecting and sharing pictures for the purpose.

  13. Jess

    I tried to share the article on FaceBook

    The content you're trying to share includes a link that our security systems detected to be unsafe:

    http://regmedia.co.uk/2015/05/22/couple.jpg

    Please remove this link to continue.

    If you think you're seeing this by mistake, please let us know.

    1. Trollslayer Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I tried to share the article on FaceBook

      Shows that this article is spot on.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: I tried to share the article on FaceBook

      Cut and paste it!

    3. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      Re: I tried to share the article on FaceBook

      It is unsafe because Facebook can't identify any faces in it?

  14. Nattrash
    Paris Hilton

    What's in the name?

    Gives a whole new meaning to the tern "Dickhead"...

    1. Winkypop Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: What's in the name?

      I never met a 'tern' I didn't like - D. Attenborough.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tern

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: What's in the name?

        One of the few birds no-one writes poetry about.

        Who would want to take a tern for the verse?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's in the name?

          One of the 'Byrds' greatest songs: Tern, Tern, Tern.

          https://youtu.be/W4ga_M5Zdn4

        2. Mpeler
          Coat

          Re: What's in the name?

          And who could forget "The Re-Tern of the Jedi"?

          And that incomparable Elvis song, "Re-tern to Sender"?

  15. Test Man

    Thank God this won't arrive here in the UK - we already don't get some of their apps that use facial recognition.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you feel FB has some benefit, OK some people find it useful. However, never, ever, ever install the Facebook app! You may as well just get all your private secrets, then pay to have them shown on the big screens in Piccadilly Circus or Times Square in NY, it amounts to the same thing. The FB app is probably one of the nastiest apps for permissions I have ever seen in my life. There's malware writers out there that would sell their own balls to get suckers like FB does with its app.

  17. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Is "I don't have Facebook" the hipsters new "I don't have a TV?"

    1. Yugguy

      The reason I do not have facebook is not because I want to be cool or hip or trendy.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      'I don't have facebook' Isn't 'hipsters new' anything. 'I don't have facebook' is the cry of the socialite who has well-informed contacts who won't be sitting at any get-together with mobile in hand businly trying to find your entry so they can add you to their collection like a new 'top trumps card'.

      It's even worse on Linked-'bloody'In, with nascent career climbers hassling you from countries you've never worked in (let alone heard of).

      'Hipsters new' is I don't have 'I don't have <insert latest social-connection-fad>'.

      WTF is a 'hipster' anyway? I've never met one...

      Personally I compromise I have accounts, but I don't use them, I'm bloddy hard to find, and people get warned a friend request might not get okayed for half a year or more,

      I also have a TV I don't watch.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        It's my understanding that a hipster is somebody who tries to be a contrarian and accidentally becomes conferment with another demographic - other hipsters.

        I'm not sure hipster is the right term here, because you can be in the "I don't own a TV" crowd without having a large lumberjack beard.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't about time some country introduced a facebook bill purely to stop this kind of shite. I know people will scream terms and conditions and you don't have to pay but really it shouldn't become a full time job to keep on top of what the wankers are doing.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Considering most governments want to spy on internet users (supposedly in the interests of 'National Security', but what's the odds it won't get sold, legally or otherwise).

      It's a full-time job keeping on top of the actions of the legal authority, in comparison, keeping up with the likes of Faecesbook is only a part-time job.

  19. Daniel Hall
    Mushroom

    ERROR

    Error

    Title does not represent content

  20. Rolf Howarth

    "but have no idea how Linkedin associated you with them."

    I'd hope most people round here can work that out, as it is largely by tracking multiple common contacts. If you know Joe, Steve, Helen, and those three all know Kevin, it isn't a bad guess that you might know Kevin.

    Facebook recently suggested I knew somebody I used to work with about 20 years ago and I have absolutely no idea how they found the link. I was posted to work on a client's site for a few months and I was the only one from my company who was there and so knew this person. As far as I know therefore we have no other acquantances of any kind in common, I don't have their phone number or email address in my phonebook, and I've changed my contact details since I knew them!

    The only thing I can think of is that maybe they searched for me by name within Facebook, but it's certainly more than a bit spooky that Facebook thinks there's a connection!

  21. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    How long will it be before Facebook rebrands as "Your Mother"?

    Going through your stuff unasked, pestering you to write to people or send them stuff.

    Another triumph for science and technology. Much better than that silly old flying car or a cure for the common cold.

  22. Commswonk Silver badge

    This might stop it...

    1. Find a facial picture of Zuckerberg.

    2. Photoshop it on to non - Zuckerberg bodies. Don't forget to include bodies having more than 2 legs.

    3. Upload liberally.

    Advanced photo - editors might wish to consider...

    4. Add a second body, suggesting some degree of intimacy between the two. Again don't forget to include bodies having more than two legs.

    5. Upload liberally as in 3 above.

    6. Sit back and enjoy.

  23. zen1

    I'm genuinely curious...

    I don't have a fb account, but hypothetically, if a relative identifies me in a picture, without my knowledge (or consent) does that mean my face becomes a facebook record?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: I'm genuinely curious...

      It means Facebook now holds data on you as it does on countless others - without their consent.

      And there is no way you'll be able to find out. Google and FB play the same game when it comes to that. The problem goes even deeper: even if they do not know who you are, there is a chain of connected events (searches, site visits, comments etc etc - the works) waiting for you to make the mistake of logging on to a site that will identify you. All it takes is logging on on a site that has FB or Google links on the page with any of their cookies still in your browser, or one of their affiliates and you've now marked that chain with your name.

      It really is the most insidious way of spying on people since Eastern Germany.

  24. Martin an gof Silver badge

    Has anyone ever counted

    what proportion of Commentards are (is?) members of Facebook (to take the example relevant to this article) and how this compares to the population at large?

    Judging by some of the replies in this thread the answers are "not many" and "far fewer".

    Likewise - I think I joined Facebook in the very early days (I really can't remember!) with the minimum amount of information possible (i.e. just a name) because a cousin asked me to, but I logged in perhaps twice before I realised what they were attempting to do and haven't been back since. No Facebook app has ever run on any phone I've ever owned, and these days I actually run my Android phone with data turned off unless I specifically need it*.

    It just strikes me as an interesting question - I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the number of Commentards who are also active Facebook users is about half the number of Joe Bloggses who use.

    M.

    * - this is very OT so doing it as a footnote. I switch the data off because the OS seems to have started using a lot more data recently - from well under 0.5MB per month before the Summer to over 26MB during August, 94MB during September and 60MB in October up until the point I decided enough was enough. I only have a 250MB data plan. My wife's identical phone (both are original Moto Gs) has done the same thing.

    Maybe its time to shove a new OS on there...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    who would join if it was called

    NSAbook

    or

    CIAbook

    Because everything you type or take a photo of will end up there forever.

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