|Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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Did you fall for the “10-year challenge” scam? 

10-year challenge

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were flooded by users who joined the scam known as the “10-year challenge”. Users added posts with photos of themselves 10 years ago to compare them to current photos.

The “10-year challenge” brought to light, memories, anecdotes, changes and, in some cases, nostalgia. But, what if this ‘challenge’ were a hoax, a scam, to get something else accomplished?

Do not forget that technology advances without pause, and facial recognition and all the data we share on the networks can become a dangerous weapon.

Although many users may think that there is no risk, since most of the photos were already on social networks, a current profile image next to one of 10 years ago could help train a facial recognition system focus on the progression of age.

In this way, it would be possible, for example, to know how people’s faces are likely to age.

To create this technology, it would be ideal to have a series of rigorous data and a large number of photographs and knowing that the photos have been taken a decade apart would help.

As explained, earlier, it is clear that most of these images can be found already on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, but, sometimes, the chronological order fails.

In addition, the profile photos of these social networks sometimes do not show who we really are, since we use images of our pets, a landscape or a cartoon.

Often, the publication date, sometimes, does not coincide with the date of taking the photo. So, nothing better than having the necessary information ordered, cleaned and labeled – in this case, with the hashtag “#10yearschallenge”. It cannot get any easier than that for social media platforms to get their AI, facial recognition tech streamlined.

Through this challenge, most users have helped to give a context to the photos. For example, putting “I, in 2009, when I lived in London, and, I, in 2019, in my new office”.

Data like that, although it may seem silly, it is information that researchers and scientists could use.

As for the false images, the recognition algorithms are able to find a human face, among hundreds of thousands of other photographs.

This may not be the case, but over the last few years, social games and ‘memes’ designed to extract and collect data have been created.

In case you think that it is hard for someone to use your Facebook images to train a facial recognition algorithm, think twice. This technology – which shows the progression of age – was used to help find missing children.

Last year, New Delhi police claimed to have tracked more than 3,000 missing children using a facial recognition system for only four days.

This system could also help direct advertising. Ad screens with cameras or sensors that adapt their message to different demographic groups may appear soon.

Like most emerging technologies, there is the possibility of dangerous consequences. The progression of age could influence privacy issues.

The police could use the technology not only to track people suspected of committing crimes but also to control protesters, for example.

If you were swindled by the “10-year challenge”, hopefully, it will not happen again. Use your social media accounts mindfully. Avoid fads that come and go, especially when they require you to surrender your privacy.

In the case of face recognition, you have already given them too much information. There is no need to change your social media profile often. Be mindful when posting images of yourself or even relatives and friends.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram do not need to know where you are every minute of your life.

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About the author: Luis R. Miranda

Luis Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda News. His career spans over 20 years and almost every form of news media. He writes about environmentalism, geopolitics, globalisation, health, corporate control of government, immigration and banking cartels. Luis has worked as a news reporter, On-air personality for Live news programs, script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news.

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