The most common rebuttal was: “That data is already available.Facebook's already got all the profile pictures.”Of course they do.Just think of the mass data extraction of more than 70 million US Facebook users performed by Cambridge Analytica.
In other words, it would help if you had a clean, simple, helpfully labeled set of then-and-now photos.
What's more, for the profile pictures on Facebook, the photo posting date wouldn’t necessarily match the date the picture was taken. They might have uploaded pictures multiple times over years.
I’ll offer three plausible use cases for facial recognition: one respectable, one mundane, and one risky.
The benign scenario: Facial recognition technology, specifically age progression capability, could help with finding missing kids.
It’s worth considering the depth and breadth of the personal data we share without reservations.
Of those who were critical of my thesis, many argued that the pictures were already available anyway.
As with hashtags that go viral, you can generally place more trust in the validity of data earlier on in the trend or campaign—before people begin to participate ironically or attempt to hijack the hashtag for irrelevant purposes.
As for bogus pictures, image recognition algorithms are plenty sophisticated enough to pick out a human face.
Sure, you could mine Facebook for profile pictures and look at posting dates or EXIF data.
But that whole set of profile pictures could end up generating a lot of useless noise.