In case you have been worried about your privacy while interacting in social networks such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn-the situation is set to become either more interesting or much worse depending on how you look at it.
Facebook has filed a patent in the US for technology which will allow it to correlate users with cameras that they use. In a nutshell, this means that simply by analysing the photographs that you uploaded on Facebook and by understanding the digital signatures of those images, Facebook will be able to understand who the user was from whose camera this picture was clicked. This would then help the social network to build a more knowledgeable graph on the user’s connections, recommendations, friends etc.
With more than 1 billion active users, it is estimated that users upload more than 350 million photos every day on Facebook and there are more than 250 billion photos already uploaded. It doesn’t take a big data scientist to understand how valuable this graph would be if Facebook correctly integrated the technology to correlate each photo with the user and then build on it to understand people’s interests and choices.
This will likely also give Facebook a competitive advantage over other social networks who are trying to play the advertising game. For example, people do not upload images on Twitter or Google with as much frequency as they do on Facebook and for them (even if they held this technology) the result would likely not be as valuable.