The Power of Social Media


Have you ever wondered when uploading your data to any social media network that some corporation behind that channel might be doing great business with your data? We tend to believe that our personal, “unique” data is not so relevant to multinational companies. We tend to forget that the force of big data can mean billion dollars or euros, either selling the data or doing some AI (artificial intelligence) research.

The eagerness to share with people our house, our car, family, dog, vacations (especially if it’s an exotic place), is stronger than our privacy. We want to show to the world that we have a nice life and a nice family, we want to make sure that everybody sees that “we keep the shit together.”

You would be surprised about how our body reacts when using social media. We are obsessed with being liked, social media has the same effect as love, orgasm, our body releases dopamine. This is why we are constantly scrolling on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

(Yes, I know she’s sexy, I can see it too)

We keep uploading our photos without realizing that we are the ones who are feeding the social media companies with data. And we even enjoy it. We might get irritated when we read about huge face recognition experiments and AI researches using our data without our consent, but still we skip the part of reading any terms&conditions, we simply check it out to get in as soon as possible.

Some governmental organizations are trying to protect us from all kind of data fraud, trying to protect our data by creating laws how, when and where to use personal identifier information. Last year we could see this with the GDPR fuss. Ok, we need to agree on the fact that privacy is a basic human right, regardless what social media magnates think of this. And this needs to be respected! However, the big data revolution in social science brings us closer to understand social network and human behaviors.

Here’s an interesting talk about idea flow and the power of collective intelligence.

This summer there was this hysteria with the FaceApp, developed in 2017 but became famous only this year thanks to the celebrities who started using it and posted personal picture filtered and edited through the application. This app whitens the hair, adds some wrinkles and jowls and redden the skin, basically it shows you how would you look like when you get old. Thanks to the great usage of this app by having more than 1 million downloads, it became the top ranked app in the App Store used in 121 countries worldwide. Although this might seem a “state sponsored surveillance campaign” the Russian owner company, Wireless Lake says that if this would be against the law, Google and Apple would have never allowed the presence of it in their stores.

Foto source: freerangestock.com

The app collects name and personal photos of users which raises serious privacy implications and concerns; however, they state that all photos are uploaded to cloud for performance goals and these are being deleted after 48 hours from the upload date. No doubt that this is an entertaining application used by a mass of people for its “photorealism” result after using all kind of filters. Luckily for Wireless Lake the users are feeding their face recognition AI initiative with data without being aware of this, giving their consent for using personal data. This leaves no room for any kind of responsibility for privacy violation as people are hypnotized by posting photos of themselves on social media channels. The only thing remaining is to train and build further on this algorithm of face recognition “monster”.

Google and Facebook remain the leaders of this AI technology, they continue to collect user’s photos through multiple services already existing at their end. And the reason why they do this and why they will continue to do it remains their dirty little secret of developing further on their human face recognition technology.

 

(Source of thumbnail photo from listing: pixabay.com)

Over Zsuzsa

Zsuzsa has joined Autofactor in the beginning of 2015 and we have been benefiting from her skills ever since. She’s taking care of planning in all of it’s aspects and makes sure that project managers, developers and customers deliver as promised. Her ‘gentle reminders’ also frequently go out to Hans, by the way.

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