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Is the ‘10 Year Challenge’ meme a creepy facial recognition gambit?

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is the ‘10 Year Challenge’ a creepy facial recognition gambit?

if you're using any social media network, by this moment you might have seen thousand people posting their then-and-now pictures showing the positive transformations in their lives — including celebrities, friends, family or random folks — sharing decade-old images of themselves, alongside current photographs.

It's a great way to show how much you've changed through the years, it's also a great moment of reflection to look back in your life, many reasons make it a popular meme and users are freely posting their pictures without even thinking of possible hidden agendas, except for one woman in the globe, she wondered whether the meme is an innocent challenge or it's was more clever and evil than that.
Kate O’Neill, who authored a book called Tech Humanist, started a discussion on her twitter feed about theorizing the challenge, that if you were training a facial recognition program on age-related traits, it would be useful to have a large data set taken at a fixed number of years apart.

“Thanks to this meme, there’s now a very large data set of carefully curated photos of people from 10 years ago and now. Is it bad that someone could use it to train a facial recognition algorithm? Not necessarily,” Miss O’Neill said on Twitter, noting that such technology could be used to find missing children.

while her intent wasn't to directly claim that the challenge was inherently dangerous, but building a facial recognition system is a highly probable scenario of the trend, whether it's true or false people should be aware of sharing their personal data.
Many people argued that photos were already available in facebooks servers and they could already build a facial recognition system, Big Tech companies including Facebook and Amazon, have been criticized about the privacy implications of facial recognition technology.
while Instagram and Twitter didn't respond yet, Facebook responded to this accusation by providing this statement :
“This is a user-generated meme that went viral on its own. Facebook did not start this trend, and the meme uses photos that already exist on Facebook. Facebook gains nothing from this meme (besides reminding us of the questionable fashion trends of 2009). As a reminder, Facebook users can choose to turn facial recognition on or off at any time.”
but even if Facebook was not guilty this time, it was accused before of selling it's users data and there have been a number of apps games etc designed to collect it's users data or to drive the public opinion like the mass data extraction of more than 70 million US Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica the past US elections. 
it's also possible with web scraping technologies to extract all images posted in the hashtag of #10yearchallenge to train a facial recognition algorithm, just scraping users profile pictures with their names would be a good data resource to power such algorithms, machine learning algorithms often require well organized and cleaned data like the one provided by this challenge a 2 labeled pictures of the same person from now and then would be good resource to train an artificial intelligence algorithms to determine age-related characteristics or age progression.
Regardless of the origin or intent behind this meme, we must all become savvier about the data we create and share the access we grant to it, and the implications for its use. If the context was a game that explicitly stated that it was collecting pairs of then-and-now photos for age progression research, you could choose to participate with an awareness of who was supposed to have access to the photos and for what purpose.




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Machine Learning Techub: Is the ‘10 Year Challenge’ meme a creepy facial recognition gambit?
Is the ‘10 Year Challenge’ meme a creepy facial recognition gambit?
Your social media feed is probably filled with friends and family taking part in the latest viral trend — but there’s a potential dark side.
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Machine Learning Techub
https://www.machinelearningtechub.com/2019/01/is-10-year-challenge-meme-creepy-facial.html
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https://www.machinelearningtechub.com/2019/01/is-10-year-challenge-meme-creepy-facial.html
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