It’s easy to see why this test is difficult for many Facebook users to pass, and difficult to understand how Facebook failed to realize this.
Facebook encourages us to ‘connect’ with as many people as possible, however marginal the relationship, so it’s not surprising that users can’t recognize every face in their growing ‘friend’ banks. Users upload and tag pictures of animals, food, objects, landscapes, abstract art and groups of people jammed together – the volume of photos mistagged as inside jokes is enough to invalidate this as a way to verify a user’s identity.
Facebook says it is relying on tagged pictures from friends with whom a user is likely to have a close connection, similar to the algorithm used to decide what to display in a user’s News Feed. But users are understandably getting frustrated:
UPDATE: Facebook responded to say only a small percentage of users have any problem with the photo security check. It’s found the method to be more effective than other kinds of security checks, a spokesman said, and Facebook is always working to improve its systems.