Is "10 Year Challenge" helping Facebook mine data?

Detail of Facebook social media app icon on iPad tablet computer screen

For instance, "Let's just imagine that you wanted to, say, train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics".

Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post that Facebook had "made a lot of improvements and changes" in 2018 and would continue working to protect users' privacy. We heard you loud and clear, I thought about this too and even Kate wrote it's not as risky as she puts it, hence - a conspiracy theory. Since age progression is part of the facial recognition algorithm, it can also be used for advertising (urgh.that's the worst) and marketers can determine the age groups demographics, which explains why certain ads are annoyingly popping up to cater to your needs. Facebook's data privacy practices have been under scrutiny since the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Now, after the challenge went viral, some people are starting to question if the challenge really is as innocent as it looks. Although developers claimed that they did not keep any of the uploaded photos, they were keeping user metadata such as age, gender and even their geographic location.

"Me 10 years ago: probably would have played along with the profile picture aging meme going around on Facebook and Instagram", she wrote.

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It's gone viral online with a string of celebrities and media personalities also taking part in the challenge. Facebook did not start this trend, and the meme uses photos that already exist on Facebook. "It would help if you knew they were taken a fixed number of years apart-say, 10 years", she said.

O'Neill flipped a metaphorical table by suggesting the tech giant had initiated a trend exclusively to contract facial recognition data from the social network's users. Most of the users are just following others and doing the same. "As a reminder, Facebook users can choose to turn facial recognition on or off at any time".

In the Wired article, tech entrepreneur and writer Kate O'Neill mused about whether it was possible that Facebook socially engineered the "10 year challenge" to collect facial data to improve facial recognition algorithms. Thomas Keenan, Canadian author of the best selling book Technocreep, provided the National Post with the example of the Mondelez Smart Shelf, a grocery store shelf "which can already work out your gender, body mass index and approximate age and if you are a good candidate, shoot you a coupon for Chips Ahoy cookies".

Are we so suspicious that we can no longer enjoy sharing things with people? "We designed this as an on/off switch because people gave us feedback that they prefer a simpler control than having to decide for every single feature using face recognition technology".

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