# 10YearChallenge: Facebook Uses Us All?


Facebook is one of the many companies that have been using face recognition technology for years. Is a dummy going to make a difference? The subject was fun and mimic until last week when a tweet moved thousands of people to worry: Do we unknowingly help giant companies improve their algorithms for biometric identification and age development?

# 10YearChallenge has gained a lot of interest in social media this month. Asks to place two photos on yourself side by side – one today and one decade ago – to show how you changed. People are mostly in Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.

But one place went viral without showing any photos side-by-side. Written by author Kate O'Neill. "I 10 years ago: I would probably play along with the mumble age profile image going around Facebook and Instagram," he wrote in a tweet last week. "I now: I think how all this data could be mined to educate face recognition algorithms for age development and age recognition."

Her words struck a nerve.

People responded with concerns about helping the technical giant improve on identifying people. O'Neill's position took more than 10,000 retoubets and more than 20,000 likes. She raised her thoughts to a widely shared article in Wired.

"I wondered why this particular thought at this particular moment has created so much attraction," O'Neill said on Friday, adding that he was not trying to panic.

Experts reported that the photos uploaded for # 10YearChallenge were drops in a very, very large bucket of data that collects Facebook for years.

"We have a tremendous amount of data that we share all the time and companies collect and use it in a number of ways," said O Neill.

Proponents of face recognition technologies said they may be needed to catch criminals or find missing persons. But critics have warned that they can provide mass surveillance or have unexpected effects that we can not yet understand.

Lauren A Rhue, an assistant professor of computer systems and analytics at Wake Forest School of Business, said that # 10YearChallenge could potentially provide a relatively clean set of data for a company that wanted to work on age development technology. But he added that Facebook already has billions of photos on its platform, and people have to be careful about any company that owns so much biometric data.

"The risk of abandoning any biometric data to a company is that there is not enough transparency not only for the way in which these data are used but also for future uses," he said, pointing to another form of biometric data data, DNA, which is increasingly used by law enforcement to detect suspects – something many people might not have predicted when volunteering saliva in exchange for help in detecting the prognosis their roots.