Facebook rolls out facial recognition feature without notifying users that it’s on by default

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Facebook hasn’t had the best track record when it comes to privacy concerns, and a new feature isn’t about to buck that trend. Facebook has rolled out its suggest tag feature, which uses newly developed facial recognition software to tag people. The official blog post on the Facebook blog explains the process: “Because photos are such an important part of Facebook, we want to be sure you know exactly how tag suggestions work: When you or a friend upload new photos, we use face recognition software—similar to that found in many photo editing tools—to match your new photos to other photos you’re tagged in. We group similar photos together and, whenever possible, suggest the name of the friend in the photos.” Not all of us are comfortable in being tagged in photos, and the fact that Facebook is pushing your friends to tag you is a little bit disconcerting, especially when the feature is turned on by default. Security site Sophos comments that “many people feel distinctly uncomfortable about a site like Facebook learning what they look like, and using that information without their permission.” We agree. Users should opt-in to any new features that any social networking site rolls out (especially when it involves making private information public) instead of opting-out instead. The site also lays down a list of things you need to do to opt-out of the feature. We’ve linked it below for your perusal.

Source: Sophos