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Photos of Big Brother from Apple's 1984 commercial and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook Has A Database Of User ID Photos



By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.     September 25, 2018

Recently, Facebook has demanded that some users upload an ID photo (not profile photo) before they can log into their Facebook accounts, supposedly so users can prove they are who they say they are. The only way this can work is if Facebook already has ID photos of the users for comparison, i.e., has (or has access to) a database of user ID photos. Big Brother Zucker is indeed watching you.

As Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has admitted, many Facebook accounts are fake. As I've mentioned, I even have a fake Facebook account, since it's foolish to have one under your real name but access to Facebook can be useful, although usually only for harming a real Facebook user.

When Facebook was starting out, these fake accounts were a good thing. They artificially inflated the number of users that Facebook could brag about to investors and advertisers. Thus Facebook did nothing to stop fake accounts, like at least requiring a credit card, which has become the de facto ID (this makes sense because it's really all about the money).

When investors and advertisers finally wised up and realized that imaginary users were worthless, it was already too late for Facebook. There were millions of fake accounts and many were used for illicit purposes, like the Russians meddling in U.S. elections. Under intense pressure, Facebook now has the impossible task of playing catchup on ID checking their accounts, and it does so already having a history of violating user privacy.

When your account is chosen for ID verification, for whatever reason, you get the following message:
Upload a Photo of Yourself

To get back on Facebook, upload a photo that clearly shows your face. Make sure the photo is well-lit and isn't blurry. Don't include other people in the shot.

Once we've confirmed it's you, we'll permanently delete the photo. It won't appear on your profile.
The only way this can work is if Facebook already has ID photos of users for comparison, i.e., has (or has access to) a database of user ID photos. The database can not be Facebook profile photos because many users do not upload a profile photo and many who do, upload photos that do not meet the requirements above.

No matter where Facebook gets this database of user ID photos, it's very troubling that they have it at all. Big Brother Zucker is watching you.

Dropout Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook at Harvard by illicitly obtaining photos of women students and then posting them in pairs and asking who was hotter. Blatant sexual harassment. Why hasn't the #MeToo movement attacked sexual harasser Mark Zuckerberg? Many #MeToo targets are from incidents that happened decades ago.

It is well-established that Facebook has worked with the NSA, providing them data about Facebook users. Maybe this is just a ploy to get ID photos for the NSA. Or perhaps Facebook has a reciprocal agreement with the U.S. Government and can use the Government's ID photo databases?

Facebook promises to "permanently delete" the photos but are they going to sell them first? (And why do they need to say "permanently"?) Perhaps Cambridge Analytica wants Facebook user ID photos in addition to all the other user data Facebook sold to them.

I emailed Facebook and asked about all this. Facebook emailed back, confirming they received the email, and said they would get back to me. They did not. Big Brother Zucker doesn't answer to anybody.

Not even Congress. To do their job and protect the American people, Congress should obviously investigate, but seriously so. But Congress has a reason not to.

Even if Facebook has no nefarious intent, its IT incompetence, starting with Zuckerberg's, is just as dangerous. For example, look what happened with Equifax.