Friday, June 10, 2011

Facebook faces another flame over face-recognition feature

Facebook is using facial recognition software to let US users automatically identify friends in photos
It seems that Facebook is true to its words of pushing the limits of privacy. Haven't you noticed that when you upload your photos, Facebook automatically finds your friends' faces and then you tag their names on it to share everlasting memories?
The social media giant test run its face-recognition technology in December 2010 but it was only recently that it has been introduced worldwide, LA Times said.
Two days after Facebook made the photo-tagging announcement in its blog, it has received another round of criticisms from several groups accusing the popular site of invasion of privacy.
A US privacy group said on Wednesday it plans to file a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission over the Tag Suggestion feature.
Electronic Privacy Information Center senior council John Verdi said, "But, we think the facial recognition feature raises real questions about what sort of data Facebook is collecting from its users and from its users' photographs.
"And it also raises questions about what Facebook does with this user data once it collects it and who else is accessing that data after it's collected."
In a report by London's Mirror, a senior consultant of security firm Sophos said, "Many people feel uncomfortable about ­Facebook learning what they look like and ­using that information without permission."
Doubting whether the face-recognition will be well-received by netizens, another online security group said, "People probably want to see each picture that's tagged of them. They want to be notified of what it is, and they want to see who has it and where it's being displayed."
Data protection regulatory bodies in the EU said Wednesday they will investigate the photo tag application, Xinhua News stated.
The site with over half a billion users apologized on Thursday for not making clear announcements.
A spokesman told BBC, "If for any reason someone doesn't want their name to be suggested, they can disable the feature in their privacy settings.
"We should have been more clear with people during the roll-out process."
Another apology appeared in Technology Blog.
"We launched Tag Suggestions to help people add tags of their friends in photos; something that's currently done more than 100 million times a day. Tag Suggestions are only made to people when they add new photos to the site, and only friends are suggested. If for any reason someone doesn't want their name to be suggested, they can disable the feature in their Privacy Settings.
"When we announced this feature last December, we explained that we would test it, listen to feedback and iterate before rolling it out more broadly. We should have been more clear with people during the roll-out process when this became available to them. Tag Suggestions are now available in most countries and we'll post further updates to our blog over time."
The attached YouTube video says that Google removed the same application due to invasion of privacy.
Details of this report here.

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