Facebook has admitted that it mostly looks for impostors — who use a user’s photo as their profile pictures — only among friends and friends of friends, a media report said.
According to The Washington Post, Facebook said that it does compare profile photos against millions of other users’, but it did not reveal a specific number.
“We use new technologies to protect people on Facebook and we are often able to improve as we roll them out,” Facebook spokesman Matt Steinfeld said.
“In the early days of this feature, we are focused on alerting people to new and recent photos posted by their friends and friends of their friends. We hope to improve how we use this technology over time.”
It also did not disclose how it chooses which accounts to compare against and sometimes it disables people’s real accounts instead.
The social media giant recently launched “Face Recognition” feature that said that switching it on can “help protect you from strangers using a photo of you as their profile picture”.
The company believes that there were as many as 87 million fake accounts as of last quarter, which is nearly five times as many as the 18 million fakes on the website back in 2016.
Facebook said the increase was due to “episodic spikes” in fake account creation in countries such as Indonesia, Turkey and Vietnam.
Although Facebook has done a lot of work in face recognition and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools as its weapons to combat political propaganda, hate speech and misinformation, the company was struggling to use the technology to connect real people around the world. (IANS)
The European Union’s consumer protection chief said Thursday she’s growing impatient with Facebook’s efforts to improve transparency with users about their data, warning it could face sanctions for not complying.
EU Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova turned up the pressure on the social media giant, saying she wants the company to update its terms of service and expects to see its proposed changes by mid-October so they can take effect in December.
“I will not hide that I am becoming rather impatient because we have been in dialogue with Facebook almost two years and I really want to see, not the progress — it’s not enough for me — but I want to see the results,” Jourova said.
The EU wants Facebook to give users more information about how their data is used and how it works with third party makers of apps, games and quizzes.
“If we do not see the progress the sanctions will have to come,” she said. She didn’t specify punishment, saying they would be applied by individual countries. “I was quite clear we cannot negotiate forever, we just want to see the result.”
The EU has been pressing the U.S. tech company to look at what changes it needs to make to better protect consumers and this year Facebook has had to adapt to new EU data protection rules. The concerns took on greater urgency after the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal erupted, in which data on 87 million Facebook users was allegedly improperly harvested.
Jourova said she hopes Facebook will take more responsibility for its nearly 380 million European users.
“We want Facebook to be absolutely clear to its users about how their service operates and makes money,” she said.
Facebook said it has already updated its terms of service in May to incorporate changes recommended at that point by EU authorities.
The company said it “will continue our close cooperation to understand any further concerns and make appropriate updates.”
Jourova also said U.S.-based property rental site Airbnb has agreed to clarify its pricing system in response to complaints that it could mislead consumers.
Airbnb has promised to be fully transparent by either including extra fees in the total price for a booking quoted on its website or notifying users that they might apply, she said.
The company is complying with EU demands spurred by concerns that consumers could be confused by its complicated pricing structure, which could add unexpected costs such as cleaning charges at the end of a holiday.
Airbnb is also changing its terms of service to make it clear that travelers can sue their host if they suffer personal harm or other damages. That’s in response to complaints that its booking system can leave tourists stranded if the rental is canceled when all other arrangements have been already made.