This week Facebook has launched a new app in the US which allows users to privately share photos with their friends but without posting them on the social network. However because of the fact that it uses facial-recognition technology Moments app won’t be available in Europe. At least not until users can choose to eliminate the face recognition feature.
Moments app is available both on Android and iOS devices. What this tool can do is complete the gaps in your photo galleries. It gathers pictures and video taken by different people who took part at the same event. In order for this to be possible the app uses a very accurate technology for face-recognition. The problem with this tool is that users do not have a manual control over choosing whether to be recognized or not by the system. Users cannot switch off the recognition technology because it is turned on by default.
DeepFace, as the system is called, is claimed to be so advanced that it has an accuracy of more than 97 percent at identifying faces. It builds 3D face models with the help of a neural network and it has 120m parameters. According to Facebook the neural network was trained with more than 4.000 people and four million photos.
The system scans a photo and compares your facial features against a database which enables the users on Moments app to tag friends The data privacy watchdog in Ireland raised objections immediately, claiming that people should have the possibility to choose whether they want to be recognized or not. So the app was not accepted in Europe because of ethical challenges.
Facebook’s head of policy in Europe, Richard Allen, said that the tool does not have an opt-in mechanism so until one will be developed the mechanism is turned off.
Moments app was designed by Creative Labs, which also developed the Messenger app. Users of iOS in North America will have access to the app in the Apple App Store this week. For now the version for Android is on its way. In the following couple of weeks Moments app will reach more cities in the US. As far as Europe is concerned the privacy concerns put the app’s launch on hold.
Image Source: Tom’s Guide