back to article Facebook fesses up to face finder financing

Facebook has confirmed the acquisition of Israeli facial-recognition software vendor for an undisclosed sum. software is already in use on Facebook in the Photo Finder app, which scans untagged images and tries to match the subject to the social network's 901 million claimed account holders. Coupled with the …


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  1. Kevin Johnston


    With all this getting rolled into Facebook I was wondering if there is a way to block being tagged without signing up for an account?

    I accept that Facebook could simply say (with some justification) that the sheer volume of data makes it virtually impossible to achieve while they encourage people to tag (and back it up with background automated matching) but with all the varying Privacy legislation in different countries is there a case to say that people can only tag 'friends' so restricting tagging to Facebook members?

    1. Fibbles

      Re: Photo-blinder?

      Facebook tags are just text labels, if you have an account it becomes a hyperlink to your 'wall'. There are a lot of Kevin Johnstons in the world so the fact that some picture on Facebook has a text label saying 'Kevin Johnston' isn't an issue. This is also ignoring the fact that most people don't tag non members because tags are there to notify existing members that somebody has added a picture of them. It'd be a pointless exercise as well as time consuming because your name would need to be typed rather than selected from a list of friends.

      A block on people tagging you would be impossible anyway unless you provided Facebook with your name and a picture of your face so that they knew what to block.

      1. ZweiBlumen
        Thumb Down

        Re: Photo-blinder?

        Not so many Barrack Obama's in this world though. And will the HR department's profiling app know which Kevin Johnston is which when it tries to determine what you were up to when you were a student?

        1. Fibbles

          Re: Photo-blinder?

          The HR department won't find any pictures of you, tagged or otherwise, unless you create an account (even then only if your privacy settings are lax). If some old uni acquaintance uploads a photo of you, the HR department has to be made aware that this person exists, friend them somehow, look through their albums and then determine if that photo from 10 years ago labeled Kevin Johnston is the same Kevin they have on staff. That's pretty difficult since Kevin doesn't have an account listing other personal info which is linked to the photo.

          If you're really that paranoid don't do stupid things in front of cameras. Even if Facebook wasn't around your old uni mate could still upload that photo of you onto his personal website complete with name, DOB, etc. Only in this scenario it'd be fully searchable from Google.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not disclosed

    Wait until their SEC filing, then you'll know how much they paid.

    Are they going buy every domain that contains the words 'face' and 'book'? What about '.com'?

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: not disclosed

      Are they going buy every domain that contains the words 'face' and 'book'? What about '.com'?

      I must say this fanatical obsession with faces is starting to wear thin. How about And yes, they could probably use the same *.recognition technology.

      (Skipping the Paris icon because I'm only half serious.)

  3. Christoph

    They are going to get an awful lot of photos tagged as "Guy Fawkes" from people wearing that mask.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Dan Beshear

      Hopefully this batch of facial-recognition software can distinguish between Zuckhead and his sister. See for a memory jog from last summer.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Not my kinda fun

    "make face recognition a fun, engaging part of people's lives, and incorporate remarkable technology into everyday consumer products"

    About as fun as parking legal illegal settlements over the peace process.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Not my kinda fun

      Yup, the moment I hear *any* exec or marketing droid blab about "fun" I know I'm being lied to and must pay attention..

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    good luck FB! there's no real RL photos of my RL persona that you can match to me and my account(s) anywhere... and then, there's that silly advertising thing... i don't see any ads, my system(s) do not request them and there's no linkage otherwise between them and me... so you're not making anything off of me nor are you gathering my data, which, by the way, comes with a price... if you or anyone else want to track me, you have to pay.... (a lot) more than you are missing out on me not seeing your ads ;) so pay up or FOAD! :P

    a proud AC, ya know?? :P

  6. jai
    Thumb Up

    +1 for headline alliteration

    very well done sir! top show!!

  7. g e

    more opportunities to build amazing products

    Any word on when they're going to build one?

  8. Levente Szileszky

    Sorry but it already sounds boring...

    ...or perhaps bored teens and dorm jocks find it interesting? Not sure but the general populace won't, I'm pretty sure.

  9. Rob

    I'm not a fan...

    ... of this sort of shit or FB, but I will still laugh when they do a better implementation of this technology than our own border control agency.

  10. Gav
    Big Brother

    Corporate Double-speak

    "Our mission is and has always been to find new and exciting ways to make face recognition a fun, engaging part of people's lives"

    Read that back in a sinister voice and just see if it doesn't send a chill down your spine. Facebook; making corporate tagging and surveillance a fun part of your life.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Face recognition doesn't work on a lot of people... they put pictures of their children/grandchildren as their profile pic and, since they are the one behind the camera, are never in anything to get tagged.

  12. mfritz0

    Yea, good luck with that face regognition stuff.

    Personally I always post one of my fractal pictures I've made for a profile image and my wife uses the family cat. Yea, good luck with finding images of us on facebook.

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