Facebook's Facial Recognition Feature Riles Privacy Pros

Lora Bentley
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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.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 8, 2011 5:21 AM Carlson Yamamoto Carlson Yamamoto  says:

Don't you think it's funny our government can't even obtain this kind of information about it's citizens without a court order, but facebook and other social networking site have been given the latitude?  Why not, for the government it'll be like going to the library and avoid dealing with the ACLU, Lawsuits, etc.,  Wait is this the facebook that has like buttons all over the web and can track your whereabouts?  Not the same facebook that bowed to china, and doesn't allow it's chinese users to talk about politics and religion is it?  OnlyMeWorld.com the new alternative to facebook.  No Real Names, No Email!


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