Facebook has come out with this new feature called “facial recognition”. You can read about it here: Privacy Battle
Why does this concern me you say? Well here’s the thing. I have two facebook accounts (yeah, I know it’s technically not allowed). One for my kinky self and one for my vanilla self. I started the kinky one because I don’t want to enter contests, comment on walls or get invited to events that my mother (or any of my other relatives) would need to “sit me down and have a talk about” on my vanilla Facebook. I don’t want my aunt to know what kind of lube I use, or that I’ve entered contests to win a vibrator. I don’t need my sisters or my children knowing that nearly all of my “friends” are involved in the sex industry in some way. I don’t discuss my sexuality with my family. Period.
I had kinky pix on my kinky FB. I also have vanilla pix on my vanilla FB. Never the twain shall meet, ya know? My ‘nilla ones are of family get togethers, trips, parties and adorable pix of me and my granddaughter. My kinky one has pix of me in rope, with my crossdressing friends, and various other non-sexual pix. Nothing awful or that I’m ashamed about, but nothing that I want my mother to see either.
Facebook’s new facestalking software has some issues that make me nervous. For one thing, this specifically:
“On Tuesday, Facebook said in a blog post that it has been working to make it easier for users to tag photos of their friends and family members. To do this, it has been quietly rolling out facial recognition technology to a test group across the world's biggest social network since late last year. That means Facebook's system will be able to recognize the faces of its 500 million to 600 million users worldwide.
Facebook noted that in just a few weeks, its system will scan all photos posted to Facebook and will offer the names of the people who appear in the frame. All of Facebook's users are automatically added to the database. The facial recognition feature is automatically turned on. Users who don't want the service must manually opt out of it.”
The three statements taken together that convinced me it was time to leave are:
1. FB will be able to recognize the faces of it’s...users worldwide.
2. FB will scan all photos posted and offer the names of the people who appear in the frame.
3. All of Facebook’s users are automatically added to the database.
Number 2 is particularly troubling.
If, as FB says it plans to do, they scan ALL photos posted and offers the names of the people who appear in the frame, that’s reason enough for me to bolt. It means that regardless of whether or not the person on whose profile the picture appears is a friend or not, if it’s on FB, it’s open season for notifying people that I appear in a picture on someone’s profile. So, when this kicked in, the danger would be for the pictures of me appearing on my kinky FB profile, to be recognized and those pictures promulgated to those on my vanilla profile (and vice versa).
So that’s why I removed my profile. That’s why I’ll be judicious about reading and tearing apart Facebook’s motives in the future, and that’s why I’ll never allow my picture to be taken in a kinky setting ever again. I can’t trust that Facebook won’t cross-contaminate my life, despite my best efforts to keep them separately contained.
Your mileage may vary and your comfort level may be different. But I'm outta there.
6/10/11 Updated: Many people have been tweeting and emailing me about how to turn off this feature. Thanks for the assistance. Being owned by a geek daddy, he's usually got me covered with all this technology stuff. I did turn it off on my remaining profile. But when it came to my kink one, I had to weigh the consequences of trusting Facebook to keep my privacy intact against the damage it might do if they fucked it up. Since Facebook has proven in the past to not hold privacy concerns of their users in high regard, I made the only choice I could given my personal circumstances.