Thousands of social media users across the globe, including celebrities, have been jumping on what has been dubbed the 10 Year Challenge - but debate has sparked over whether it's all a scam.

The latest trend of 2019 - involving people posting two photos of themself 10 years apart - has gained speedy traction on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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However, technology commentator Paul Brislen spoke to Newstalk ZB presenter Andrew Dickens this afternoon about the "fun game" exposing users to identity theft.


"Nine times out of 10 it is a scam, the whole push and the reason for these games or puzzles is to give a company access to your information and your data so that they can better understand you and your networks to pitch advertising at you," Brislen said.

Anyone in the information technology industry had the ability to start these games to test new software, Brislen said.

Social media sites could use the photos people are posting to better train their software algorithms, or robot brains that invest the sites, how to better identify users, Brislen said.

He said on the surface it didn't appear to be a big problem as it could be a way of tagging people in photos automatically but the extent of invasion was concerning.

"For my kids or my elderly parents who don't actually want everybody to know where they are, this capability becomes a threat to their privacy," Brislen said.

He felt that people walked backwards into these "games" without thinking about the ramifications.

He said it was also becoming a threat to security as face recognition was more commonly being used as security measure.

"One example of that is the new iPhone that uses face ID to unlock your phone, the ANZ app also uses the same system to access your bank account as a pin-number replacement."


Brislen said it would be interesting to see the problems this creates down the line, as face recognition was becoming more widely used.