Facebook can track who you know using the DUST on your camera: Creepy patent reveals the site can connect people by studying smudges in photos to see if they were taken by the same lens

Friday, January 12, 2018
By Paul Martin

Facebook patent outlines how it can track users via their photographs
The firm can use lens mark to find out if people have used the same camera
Facebook can then suggest the users add each other as friends on the network
The company claims it has never used the technology described in the patent

12 January 2018

Facebook has designed a way to track you and your friends using the dust and scratches on your camera lens.

The social networking giant outlines how it would connect users by matching similarities in their uploaded photos in a newly found patent.

If two people have used the same digital camera, Facebook could link them by detecting similar dust or scratch marks in their uploaded photos.

The company says it has ‘never implemented’ the technology described in the patent, but has not ruled out using it in future.

It follows new that Facebook plans to put a microphone and camera in every home via a £370 ($500) video chat device set for released this year.

Gizmodo has uncovered a Facebook patent that shows it could one day use data stored on your photos to suggest people you might know on the platform.

The technology would match photos uploaded to different accounts and apply it to Facebook’s People You May Know (PYMK) feature.

PYMK suggests potential mutual connections based on your friends list, Facebook groups, and a host of other information linked to your account.

If Facebook integrates the newly-found patent, PYMK would assume two people know each other if images they have uploaded share similar file names.

The software would detect photos that look as though they were part of the same image series, such as a pair titled ‘IMG_5803921.jpg’ and ‘IMG_5803932’.

It would assume these images have been taken on the same camera, suggesting the two people who uploaded them have met.

The software could also detect photos captured on the same camera by matching scuffs, dust or other lens marks.

If implemented, people you have sent photos to, and who have then uploaded them to Facebook, would begin appearing in your PYMK section.

In its patent, which was filed in 2015 but uncovered by Gizmodo yesterday, Facebook writes: ‘Images uploaded by users of a social networking system are analysed to determine signatures of cameras used to capture the images.

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