Facebook Facial Recognition a Bit Creepy

By Michelle Amodio June 08, 2011

Facebook has recently doled out yet another feature as part of its social networking experience. The feature, already live here in the good ol’ U.S., uses facial recognition technology to prompt your friends to tag photos of you.

It’s one thing for someone to recognize you at the supermarket and another thing entirely for a hosted application to know who you are via other peoples photos. The creep factor is up there, and the news as of this morning is people are rightfully freaking out.

Security firm Sophos expressed concern that Facebook’s facial-recognition technology had been turned on by default, PCMag.com reports:

“Now might be a good time to check your Facebook privacy settings as many Facebook users are reporting that the site has enabled the option in the last few days without giving users any notice,” Sophos’ Graham Cluley wrote in a blog post.

The social-networking site acknowledged that it should have been more communicative about the service’s roll-out, but did not announce plans to make it opt-in.

The site provides no way for users to pre-approve photos they are tagged in, and must instead untag themselves manually after they have been tagged.

“Many people feel uncomfortable about a site like Facebook learning what they look like, and using that information without their permission,” says Brett Myroff, CEO of regional Sophos distributor, Sophos South Africa.

“Facebook users should have to ‘opt-in’ to the facial recognition feature, rather than the onus being on them to ‘opt-out’.”

PCWorld points out that the more you tag, the more Facebook learns about what you look like, and it could eventually lead to searching for someone by taking a picture of them.

The EU just launched a probe to investigate the personal privacy ramifications of the new feature. Even if you opt-out of the service, Facebook is probably still going to learn your face, only it won't suggest your face to others.

Before everyone runs to their profiles to delete any and all traces of their faces, there are ways to protect your profile from this feature.

If you’re uncomfortable with Facebook using facial recognition technology to identify you in photos and automatically suggesting these to your friends to tag, you can disable this easily in your Facebook privacy settings under “Suggest photos of me to friends.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.




Michelle Amodio is a TechZone360 contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Why Blockchain Could Be a Gamechanger

By: Paula Bernier    1/22/2018

Blockchain has become closely associated with the controversial topic of cryptocurrency. And that's fine because blockchain is an enabling technology …

Read More

Consumer Privacy in the Digital Era: Three Trends to Watch

By: Special Guest    1/18/2018

Digital advertising has exploded in recent years, with the latest eMarketer data forecasting $83 billion in revenue this year and continued growth on …

Read More

CES 2018: Terabit Fiber - Closer Than We Think

By: Doug Mohney    1/17/2018

One of the biggest challenges for 5G and last mile 10 Gig deployments is not raw data speeds, but middle mile and core networks. The wireless industry…

Read More

10 Benefits of Drone-Based Asset Inspections

By: Frank Segarra    1/15/2018

Although a new and emerging technology, (which is still evolving), in early 2018, most companies are not aware of the possible benefits they can achie…

Read More

VR Could Change Entertainment Forever

By: Special Guest    1/11/2018

VR could change everything from how we play video games to how we interact with our friends and family. VR has the power to change how we consume all …

Read More