The American multinational IT company uses pictures of users on Flickr for facial recognition operation without their consent.
The IBM took around a million pictures of users from an image hosting company based in California to functionalize their novel face recognition mechanism. However, the NBA, a commercial television network, pointed out that the people depicted in the photographs were not informed about their use of faces for the training.
Many users informed NBC that the people photographed were not told about the usage and their images were annotated with facial recognition to train algorithms. One photographer informed NBC, “None of the people I photographed had any idea their images were being used in this way.” The photos misused are a part of a collection with 99.2 million photographs called the YFCC100M, which Flickr used for conducting researches. The Creative Common License allowed the pictures to be used freely with certain limitations. However, the criteria that they can be used as a part of facial recognition training was certainly not a part of the license policy. It is impossible for average people to check if their pictures have been used, to have them removed because IBM keeps their dataset private from corporate research. The NBC designed a tool for the photographers to check if they were included in the collection of IBM.
The IBM was previously criticized for making a video using body cameras to figure human races. However, the IT company denied allegations and stated that it would never, “participate in work involving racial profiling.” Probably, the raw intentions of the company were biased since in an interview they announced that they will require dataset to train mechanisms for “fairness” and accuracy. The IBC concluded with stating that they recognize privacy and thus the verified researchers can have look into the images that are publically evident. Furthermore, this is not the only company which uses photos of people without consent. Currently, Facebook has pictures of 8, 00,000 people for research analysis.
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