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Standardizing Facial recognition data and the People tab in Lightroom

Engaged ,
Feb 02, 2024 Feb 02, 2024

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These features could be wildly popular if the major players like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Adobe, Nikon, and Canon, agree to work with either EXIF or IPTC to establish a “Standard” so that the metadata data can be shared just like file dimensions, size, GPS ,etc. 

 

Currently, my experience is that it is proprietary to each company (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Adobe, etc.).  After consumers spend time training the algorithms so the pictures are identified and stored in an index, when those files are shared, the facial recognition information is stripped out.  In fact, with one company, when a shared album is created the index information is stripped out so that the recipient of that shared album is not able to benefit from all the work the first person did to identify all the people.  It would be great if those indexes could be shared as well so they work across the different companies. 

 

A major issue that may be preventing this from happening is Security and Privacy.  There may be too great a concern that, if there was a standard and the information was freely shared, it would make it easier for that information to be used for nefarious purposes.  


The General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") is a European Union regulation on information privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. The GDPR is an important component of EU privacy law and human rights law, in particular Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

 

We can still dream though…

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Experiment , macOS , Windows

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Community Expert ,
Feb 02, 2024 Feb 02, 2024

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I'm all with this. GDPR is one major block to this though I suspect. Photos with identifiable people are considered personal  data and should be kept securely. 

Sean McCormack. Author of 'Essential Development 3'. Magazine Writer. Former Official Fuji X-Photographer.

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Engaged ,
Feb 02, 2024 Feb 02, 2024

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@SeanMcCormack Thank you. I edited the Original Post to include a description of GDPR.  Is there a US equivalent to that? HIPA is for healthcare data

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Community Expert ,
Feb 02, 2024 Feb 02, 2024

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Not that I'm aware of. Coporate interests in the US are strongly resisting it. There have been huge fines for data misues over here, so I'm sure they'd be keen to avoid them over there. 

Sean McCormack. Author of 'Essential Development 3'. Magazine Writer. Former Official Fuji X-Photographer.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 02, 2024 Feb 02, 2024

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For info and to avoid any confusion - 'Here' for Sean is 'Ireland', which is a member of European Union and therefore subject to GDPR. 

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LEGEND ,
Feb 03, 2024 Feb 03, 2024

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There is an industry standard describing, among many other things, how to record and label rectangular regions in a photo (e.g. for faces), "Guidelines for Handling Image Metadata Version 2.0, November 2010", from the Metadata Working Group. Though the title says "guidelines", it is written as a specification. You can download a copy from the Internet Archive:

https://web.archive.org/web/20181006115950/http://www.metadataworkinggroup.org/specs/


Adobe, Apple, Canon, Microsoft, Nokia, and Sony formed the Metadata Working Group and contributed to the spec, but there are only two products / web platforms I know of that implemented the labeled rectangular regions for faces, Adobe Lightroom Classic and Google Picasa (the latter being long dead). LR still obeys the spec, and plugins (such as my Any Filter) provide various kinds of access to the metadata.

 

The MWG died many years ago, though you can still access its web site via the Internet Archive. The large companies don't care much about sharing more than the very basic metadata any more, even Adobe (e.g. see the mediocre metadata facilities of the Lightroom Cloud or Apple photo products).

 

Facebook shut down its automatic facial recognition a while ago, but it never allowed any metadata added on the platform to be exported (and still doesn't, I believe).  In general, the large platforms have a strong business incentive to act as walled gardens, locking their users and their content into the gardens (e.g. see Instagram as one of the worst offenders).

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Engaged ,
Feb 03, 2024 Feb 03, 2024

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johnrellis:

Thank you for sharing this valuable information

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