Print 39 comment(s) - last by rbuszka.. on Jun 9 at 12:54 PM

Facebook applied facial recognition technology to users' accounts without notifying them

It seems 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 recognition feature. 

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 Sophos.

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How about a useful post..
By Smilin on 6/8/2011 1:04:02 PM , Rating: 2
Account Settings -> Privacy Settings -> Customize Settings (small near bottom) -> Suggest Photos of Me to Friends (edit button) -> Disabled

Every thread on this amounts to a bunch of people saying "well don't use facebook" and "how could you expect privacy when..."

Look. We know what's going on. Facebook like any other "free" service is really selling you (not TO you). It also happens to offer services that I really like. Finding an old military buddy or staying in touch with distant relatives and friends is very valuable to me. I'm not happy about the privacy but I'm not leaving Facebook. I keep information to a minimum and keep privacy settings tight.

It's all about a balance of risk so spare me your lectures.

RE: How about a useful post..
By smackababy on 6/8/2011 2:23:14 PM , Rating: 2
What?!? Are you suggesting I manage my own privacy and content? Are you high?

RE: How about a useful post..
By Smilin on 6/8/2011 2:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
... hehe personal responsibility.. I know it's f'n crazy!

RE: How about a useful post..
By psaus42 on 6/8/2011 3:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
@Smilin; thank you for posting those details for the rest - beat me to it. It would be nice if DT writers would post similar details in the future - I am like you, I can't just leave FB. I hate this necessary evil that is FB, but it's the best way to communicate with my family - I have family in several countries, not to mention friends. *OH Facebook, oh how I hate thee*

@smackababy, I replied to you because I literally laughed out loud. I wish my user-base would think like you
(wait, it's a LOL nothing more than a true laugh... because if it's not outloud isn't that just a smile?)

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