Facebook facial recognition draws fire

Posted: June 8, 2011 in Science and Technology, US News

Gautham Nagesh
The Hill
June 8, 2011

A new Facebook feature that uses facial recognition software to suggest the names of friends in uploaded photos is drawing fire in both the U.S. and the European Union.

The service, which suggests the names of friends so users can tag them in pictures, has been available since December but will now be a default setting on existing accounts.

The change has prompted an EU investigation, according to a report from BusinessWeek, along with concern from a prominent House Democrat.

“Requiring users to disable this feature after they’ve already been included by Facebook is no substitute for an opt-in process,” said Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus.

“Requiring users to disable this feature after they’ve already been included by Facebook is no substitute for an opt-in process,” said Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus.

“If this new feature is as useful as Facebook claims, it should be able to stand on its own, without an automatic sign-up that changes users’ privacy settings without their permission.”

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