Facebook criticised for face recognition

Facebook criticised for face recognition
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When you upload a new photo to your Facebook albums, you will receive tag suggestions, as the firm uses face recognition technology to trace your friends.

Facebook says its users add 100 million tags a day “as an easy way to share photos and memories,” which so far needed to be done manually. According to the Palo Alto company, “tags make photos one of the most popular features on Facebook.”

The feature, introduced in the US several months ago, has now been rolled out globally. Facebook says it wants to make tagging photos less of a chore by its suggestions. However, security concerns remain.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, wrote on his naked security blog:

“Unfortunately, once again, Facebook seems to be sharing personal information by default. Many people feel distinctly uncomfortable about a site like Facebook learning what they look like, and using that information without their permission.

“Most Facebook users still don’t know how to set their privacy options safely, finding the whole system confusing. It’s even harder though to keep control when Facebook changes the settings without your knowledge.”

A Facebook spokesperson was cited by the BBC as defending the technology, yet apologising for not properly informing users.

“Tag Suggestions are only made to people when they add new photos to the site, and only friends are suggested. If for any reason someone doesn’t want their name to be suggested, they can disable the feature in their privacy settings.

“We should have been more clear with people during the roll-out process when this became available to them,” said the spokesperson”.

By Ali Sheikholeslami
London Correspondent

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