Facebook continues to refine its biometric identification technology even as lawsuits threaten its real-world use.
At the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference earlier this month, Facebook officials showcased technology they were developing to identify individuals in photos in which their faces are obscured. Without access to the face biometrics, the system instead focuses on other unique identifiers such as the individual’s body shape, haircut, and even signature clothing.
Testing the system on a database of almost 40,000 Flickr photos, the Facebook team says that it achieved an accuracy of 83 percent in identifying individuals. Combined with the facial recognition technology already employed by Facebook in products like its new Moments app, it could provide a comprehensive and almost foolproof identification system.
That doesn’t do any good with respect to quelling privacy concerns. Facebook is already facing stateside lawsuits over its biometric data collection, and has entirely avoided deploying such technology in regions like Europe, where privacy laws are more strict. While the company has not yet announced any plans for applications of this newest system, it seems likely to ignite some controversy if and when it is deployed.