Why is such an app necessary?
According to the creators using social media proiles it can help find missing people, your friends, or men or women that look like actors. In the case of the ersatz-famous you can send them a friend request and ask for a date. Talk about harassment?!
"It works by comparing photographs to profile pictures on Vkontakte, a social network popular in Russia and the former Soviet Union, with more than 200 million accounts. In the future, the designers imagine a world where people walking past you on the street could find your social network profile by sneaking a photograph of you, and shops, advertisers and the police could pick your face out of crowds and track you down via social networks.Harassment is exactly what has been reported by The Guardian. It has become a problem in Russia with trolls sending threatening messages to sex workers outing them to their families and stalking them online. But that's just sex workers, you say?
In the short time since the launch, Findface has amassed 500,000 users and processed nearly 3m searches."
Think about it: “Three million searches in a database of nearly 1 billion photographs: that’s hundreds of trillions of comparisons, and all on four normal servers. With this algorithm, you can search through a billion photographs in less than a second from a normal computer,” said one of the creators during an interview at the company’s modest central Moscow office."
But don't worry, this app can also be used for shopping (apparently the only requirement, besides pubic safety, to make any app legitimate). A store camera takes a picture of you looking at those Jimmy Choos and suddenly you get bombarded with shoe ads. How convenient.
Some Russians are concerned with how popular this app has become in a country not known for its privacy laws. Currently, FindFace cannot access Facebook's image database, but that's just because they haven't figured out how to ... yet.
Maybe the bigger concern in an age when everyone has chucked their privacy in support of some form of social media, FindFace seems inevitable. Wanna date an actor, upload your favorite celebrity's photo and you'll get a dozen suggestions based on looks alone. How about uploading sneaky photos because you think you have spotted a criminal? Doesn't that guy at the next table look like an armed robber or that woman at the counter a purse snatcher?
What do you think about being monitored in EVERY public space?