Five Facts Facebook Should Know About Privacy
If the company would remember these five things about privacy, its execs might not shudder at the mere mention of the word.
Facebook's newest feature is raising privacy concerns. Not that anyone's surprised in the least. Sometimes I wonder if the social networking company pays people to dream up new ways to annoy privacy advocates.
This time it's a facial recognition feature that automatically recognizes and then tags people or suggests friends whose faces might be in photos posted on the site. According to Reuters, the technology was first automatically activated for Facebook users in the U.S. It has recently been expanded to users in several other countries, all without letting users know what was coming. And users complained.
Sophos Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluely wrote:
Yet again, it feels like Facebook is eroding the online privacy of its users by stealth.
MediaPost.com reports Facebook admits it should have been more vocal about the global launch of the feature, but also says there have been misconceptions about how it works.
Privacy regulators in the EU, however, will get a detailed picture of how it works. The group told Bloomberg Businessweek it plans to study the feature to ensure it does not violate EU privacy rules. "Tags of people on pictures should only happen based on people's prior consent and should not be activated by default," the group said.