Predicting Household Demographics Based on Image Data

Our friends (?) at Facebook have submitted a patent application for technology that claims it can predict who your family and other household members are, based on images and captions posted to Facebook, as well as your device information, like shared IP addresses.

The application, titled Predicting household demographics based on image data, was originally filed May 10, 2017, but made public this week. The system Facebook proposes in its patent application would use facial recognition and learning models trained to understand text to help Facebook better understand whom you live with and interact with most. The technology described in the patent looks for clues in your profile pictures on Facebook and Instagram, as well as photos of you that you or your friends post.

It would note the people identified in a photo, and how frequently the people are included in your pictures. Then, it would assess information from comments on the photos, captions, or tags (#family, #mom, #kids) — anything that indicates whether someone is a husband, daughter, cousin, etc. — to predict what your family/household actually looks like.

According to the patent application, Facebook’s prediction models would also analyze “messaging history, past tagging history, [and] web browsing history” to see if multiple people share IP addresses (a unique identifier for every internet network).

You can learn more in the application in the U.S. Patent Office’s database at: http://bit.ly/2FDsVbs.

Comment: If you are concerned about your own privacy and especially if you care concerned about the privacy of your spouse, children, other relatives, or neighbors, there is a strong message here: never post any photographs (or anything else!) to Facebook!

One thought on “Predicting Household Demographics Based on Image Data

  1. Well isn’t that really intrusive. It’s none of their business….but it’s their platform and we can choose to get off of it. It’s a shame that someone in that organization thinks giving out our information is okay.

    Like

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