Facebook’s 10-Year Challenge May Be A Data Collection Tool

While the #10yearchallenge may seem like a harmless social media trend, it could actually be a data collection tool.

Published
Tech News
2 min read
The #10yearchallenge has been going viral on social media. 
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There is no smoke without a fire. And in Facebook’s case, conspiracy theories around everything it does abound. That’s not without precedent though given the data privacy scandals that have surrounded the social networking giant.

The hashtag #10yearchallenge has been trending on social media with thousands of people posting pictures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter of how they looked 10 years back and now.

It’s all just harmless fun right? Wrong.

It’s All About Data

There are no such things as free lunches. While it may seem like a harmless meme, it’s quite possible that to companies like Facebook this is a goldmine of data. With everyone working of facial recognition software and training artificial intelligence (AI) systems, such data is very valuable.

Think about it. If people show a robot or AI hundreds of pictures of how they looked 10 years ago and how they look now, it will be pretty easy for these AIs to build an algorithm or data-set model on how a person ages. This will not only help improve facial recognition software, but can even predict future outcomes as well.

For instance, such data would be valuable in the beauty industry, to then do targeted advertising on certain products. It would help law enforcement with facial recognition, helping track criminals who have been absconding for a while. Or it could also help track down missing persons.

Whatever the use case, one cannot argue about privacy if one willingly uploads such a data set to the Internet. After all, wasn’t all the data that Cambridge Analytica mined from Facebook also through seemingly innocuous app called “This is Your Digital Life”?

(With inputs from Wired)

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