as if Facebook's problems with security are
never-ending. New social networking features roll out and appear to cross the
line almost every time, and now, Facebook users are expressing concern for its
new facial recognition technology.
Facial recognition technology can
be found in different programs, such as Apple's iPhoto and Google's Picasa. But
the facial recognition feature can be turned off, giving users the option to
use it or not. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Facebook's facial
Facebook announced the release of the facial recognition feature back in
December, saying it would speed up the process of tagging friends in photos.
Facebook also noted that it would only be released in the United States, but in
an email statement yesterday, Facebook admitted that the technology had become
available to users internationally without telling them about it.
"We should have been more clear with people during the roll-out process
when this became available to them," said Facebook in an email statement.
The Facebook response
also added that photo-tagging suggestions using the facial recognition
technology were only offered when new photos were uploaded to Facebook, and it
only suggested friends. In addition, the message mentioned that the feature can
be disabled in a user's privacy settings.
But it's difficult to turn these settings off when people do not know they even
have the feature.
This new feature presents privacy problems because Facebook has over 500 million users, and applying this technology
unknowingly could raise questions about whether certain personally identifiable
information would become associated with the photos within the database.
"Yet again, it feels like Facebook is eroding the online privacy of its
users by stealth," said Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at
quote: This is why I don't use FaceBook.
quote: Ok am I on another planet here?
quote: You already signed up for Facebook, you already uploaded your images and share them
quote: What possible reason would anyone have to think you would further want to "opt in" for something you've been doing voluntarily already!?
quote: You use the biggest social networking site on the planet, and yet somehow, expect anonymity?
quote: Your argument is like telling me you should be able to walk down the street and have nobody see your face, and if they DO, they should have to inform you they saw it. Do you realize how asinine you sound?
quote: What you fail to understand is that Facebook has been tagging people in photos that other people have uploaded without their permission.
quote: Facebook is basically a precursor to the most ingenius surveillance system ever devised where the public wittingly/unwittingly provides the information.
quote: What's more, there are no laws governing their own internal use of this data or it's persistence in their systems. The possibility exists for companies to build such profiles on you before you ever become a user in the hopes that someday you will become a user that they can then exploit for profit.
quote: And, again, if you don't like ANY feature you can turn it off.
quote: quote: What you fail to understand is that Facebook has been tagging people in photos that other people have uploaded without their permission. Wrong, you DID give them permission when you signed up with Facebook and agreed to their terms. And, again, if you don't like ANY feature you can turn it off.
quote: There are even examples of people being tagged in photos taken by tourists that just happened to have them in the frame as they were walking by.
quote: He's talking about your photo being uploaded to Facebook by someone else, and your face being recognized, cataloged, and tagged (and if the EXIF data on the photo includes it, cross-referenced to a time, date, and location) without your consent.
quote: Then your problem is with that person, not Facebook.
quote: Who is quite possibly a total stranger that you would then need to contact in order to have the tag removed.
quote: Ok take the tin foil hate off. That's frankly absurd. Companies are not waiting around in the hopes that you will make a Facebook account and upload photos so they can, at some point in the future, exploit you. Don't you see how fear is clouding your judgement here? Come on!
quote: I'm still relatively young (33 today), but I really don't understand this latest generation. It's like everyone's a zombie, looking at their phones 24/7, while they're walking, driving, riding a bike, even when they're carrying on a conversation with someone sitting across the table from them! Bugs the heck out of me. /rant
quote: If you didn't want your image used, you wouldn't have uploaded pictures in the first place!