More facial recognition tech for social networking

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Social media network Facebook holds an immense collection of people’s personal photos, and has just acquired the Israeli tech company face.com (which has been developing facial recognition plugins and apps for online services).

Face.com’s algorithms are being developed not just to identify individuals but their age and gender too; a recent face.com blog notes: “The uses of this capability are nearly limitless, from parental control applications (restricting or enabling age-limited functionality based on the visitor’s age) to potential real-world targeted advertising based on detected age range of a consumer.”

The acquisition of face.com should herald tighter integration of facial recognition into FB’s service and could see greater use of the technology in mobile devices such phones and tablets.

The increasing use of facial recognition tech, coupled with the ubiquity of these devices, may not augur well for those wishing to preserve either their privacy or anonymity. Use of the technology thus may portend further protracted clashes between different factions with increasingly disparate views of the necessity, and desirability, of these supposed enhancements to social networking.