Former spies say companies are collecting Facebook photos for a facial recognition database.
A large surveillance company that’s heavily staffed with former spies has admitted that it’s harvesting photos on Facebook to create a massive facial recognition database, according to The Daily Wire.
The newly released report comes just one week after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified last week on Capitol Hill.
The CEO was primarily grilled about why Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica, a political data company who briefly worked with President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, to access to nearly 90 million users’ personal information.
For the last several years, a secret surveillance company founded by a former Israeli intelligence spy has been scanning YouTube, Facebook, and other social media websites to create and compile a facial recognition database.
The database, Face-Int, is a large-scale facial recognition service owned and operated by Terrogence. The company has also been awarded a handful of U.S. government contracts and has worked with the U.S. Navy, NSA, and other intelligence agencies to provide cutting-edge spy technology for security databases.
Terrogence is very upfront about what the company stands for, is working toward, and does on a daily basis. The company explicitly states on its website that it is creating a large and growing database of annotated faces and face data to provide highly efficient bio-metric security applications.
There are a few ways to interpret that. They are a high-level surveillance agency that has worked with the top intelligence departments across the world, including the United States. Many will find it deeply concerning that Facebook and other social media companies are allowing Terrogence to create this massive facial recognition database.
The problem is that the user data they are collecting is from open sourcing, meaning it is not classified and readily available to everyone. The real problem is that Facebook has allowed companies to collect data on millions of users. Facebook could alter its company policies and state that they own the content on the website, meaning companies wouldn’t be allowed to steal users’ photos and information without permission.
But Facebook won’t do that because, as Zuckerberg admitted before Congress, the company sells user data to third parties for profit. Facebook has roughly 2.2 billion users on its platform, so there’s a massive opportunity to sell members’ data for substantial monetary gain.
Facebook essentially has been acting like a surveillance company for years, where they collect data on billions of users, sell it for profit, and use it for targeted advertising. Selling user data is what made Facebook a $450 billion company.
The company has made it clear that it has no problem with companies like Terrogence taking photos from Facebook members and using them to build a massive facial recognition database. Facebook isn’t concerned or bothered by hackers stealing this information or governments across the world creating an even larger surveillance state, where everyone is being monitored, watched, and studied.
This new report should concern everyone who cares about their privacy.