The 10 Year Challenge is probably a scam to steal your picture


What a difference 10 years can make!

There's always a new trend or gimmick on Facebook or Instagram.

Facebook has been at the centre of data mining and privacy breach accusations, and experts are warning the trending "10-year challenge" meme could be yet another effort to mine valuable data.

For many of us, looking back at old photos of ourselves can be both a painful, embarrassing and amusing experience.

Time sure does fly when you are having fun! What in the world were you thinking with those shoes? According to Wired, "In other words, thanks to this meme, there's now a very large dataset of carefully curated photos of people from roughly 10 years ago and now".

In addition, there are people who use pictures of cartoons or movie characters as their profile photo instead of themselves and by joining in the ten years challenge, they show their "true" face to Facebook.

The viral challenge also proved to be popular among a number of celebrities, with everyone from Tyra Banks, Caitlyn Jenner and Miley Cyrus to Nicki Minaj and Madonna taking part.

Concerns about the "10 Year Challenge" cropped up Wednesday after author Kate O'Neill wrote an editorial warning readers about the meme.

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Netsafe haven't had any queries or complaints relating to the 10 year challenge. Basically this means that the more information you feed it, the more it can learn. "Facebook did not start this trend, and the meme uses photos that already exist on Facebook", the company wrote.

'Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics, and, more specifically, on age progression (e.g. how people are likely to look as they get older).

The response to O'Neill's proposal has been mixed.

If you've been on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter recently you undoubtedly would have seen pictures circulating of the #10yearchallenge. How do you think Facebook knows who all your mates are when you upload a batch of new photos from the beach?

But age progression technology could be both good and bad.

One possibility, O'Neill suggests is that insurance companies might use the information to find out how a person is aging in order to determine if they would be a risk and deny them a policy. Last year, police reported tracking down almost 3,000 kids in New Dehli, India.

In one particular case back in 2016, Amazon experimented using real-time facial recognition but also sold the service to the government agencies and the police force in Orlando and Washington.

However its broader message was that "we need to approach our interactions with technology mindful of the data we generate and how it can be used at scale".