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Big Revolution - "Is this you?"

May 23 · Issue #87 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Wednesday’s Big Revolution…

Big things you need to know today
- Amazon is under fire for selling cheap facial recognition software to police forces. The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights organisations are concerned about how it may be used to track people not committing crimes.
- Surprisingly, Facebook has expanded the programme that allows people to share their nude pictures with the company to help it stop others sharing them without permission. After being tested in Australia, it’s now rolling out to Canada, the UK, and the US, too. A gutsy move, given recent criticism of the company.
- Mark Zuckerberg breezed through his EU grilling. The Q&A format at the European Parliament saw politicians ask questions in bulk, and then Zuck answer whichever he chose to until he ran out of time. Pretty much no-one outside Facebook is likely to be happy with that outcome, and it turns out the company requested the format.
- Microsoft has similar technology to Google Duplex. ‘Xiaoice’ (Chinese for ‘little Bing’) can conduct voice calls with humans – but it’s only working in China right now.
- Now you can mute annoying friends on Instagramperfect for hiding those oversharers without hurting their feelings by unfollowing them.
The big thought
Yes, it is...
Yes, it is...
“Is this you?”
Yesterday, an intriguing notification of a new Twitter mention popped up on my desktop. “Bit of a weird on (sic) this, but is this you?” it said
A photo was attached. It was me, 12 years ago, playing a pair of keyboards and looking moody in front of a microphone. 
Back in those days, I used to play electronic pop music live as ‘The Star Fighter Pilot’ (a name I still use for recording when I have time). Inevitably, people took photos of my shows that I’ll probably never see. In this case, the photographer had been looking through the pictures he took for a venue in 2006 and found one featuring someone who looked a lot like me.
As today’s news section above shows, facial recognition technology is now used more widely than ever, and it’s already embedded in our photo libraries via services like Google Photos and Apple Photos. It’s now a lot more likely that people will find photos of you in their collections, from far in your past, that you’ve never seen before.
Before I saw the photo attached to the tweet yesterday, and I’d only seen the “is this you?” text, I’ll confess that a quick pang of worry flashed across my brain – what on Earth could they have a photograph of me doing?
Facebook has a facial recognition feature that can alert you when a friend uploads a picture of you. That’s handy, but part of me wishes I could get alerts about any photo of me published anywhere, by anyone, whether they tag me or not. 
It’s not that I think they’ll show me doing anything wrong, just that – well, it can be good to know what people are sharing.  And then part of me thinks there’s such a thing as knowing too much – even about yourself.
Either way, we should get used to our past selves coming back to say ‘hello’ via other people’s old photos a lot more often in the future.
One big read
How Fortnite Captured Teens’ Hearts and Minds How Fortnite Captured Teens’ Hearts and Minds
A look at Fortnite, perhaps the biggest video game in the world right now – you either ‘get it’ or you really don’t.
One big tweet
A good point here. The most significant, most world-changing tech innovation is increasingly happening at a level of expense and expertise most startups can’t hope to get on board with. That’s where brand comes in…
Connor Murphy
I think branding is already the next big differentiatior in tech. As technology and products becomes more commoditised, branding will increasingly be your long term moat
That’s all for today...
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