Facebook has been a pioneer of facial recognition since the early days of its existence. More recently, it made headlines by acquiring Face.com - an Israeli tech company specializing in programming computers to match names to faces.
Now Facebook has developed some impressive new facial recognition software. It's called DeepFace, and it approaches human levels of precision. From MIT Technology Review:
Asked whether two unfamiliar photos of faces show the same person, a human being will get it right 97.53 percent of the time. New software developed by researchers at Facebook can score 97.25 percent on the same challenge, regardless of variations in lighting or whether the person in the picture is directly facing the camera.
It makes perfect sense for Facebook to invest heavily in this research sector. When it knows who all the people are in your photos, it knows more about your networks and interests. Soon, it could be picking you out of photos taken in public. One day very soon, Facebook would be capable of knowing where you shop, where you live, where you go on vacation.