Facebook facial recognition roll out raises fresh privacy concerns

Facebook, no stranger to controversy surrounding the privacy of its users, has found itself in the dock again – this time over the surreptitious introduction of facial recognition technology.

It means that faces tagged in photos can now be scanned and analysed by Facebook, allowing the social networking giant to automate the tagging process.

The software was automatically rolled out to all US users in December without most people’s knowledge- and automatically opted in all users for the technique.

Anyone not wishing to be included had to manually opt out via their personal settings.

Stressing that the system only suggests tags when it holds a “high degree of confidence” Facebook nevertheless conceded that it ought to have been “more clear with people” during the features introduction… but still intends to roll out the software to other countries.

Graham Cluley, a security expert at Sophos, who first raised the alarm that something was up said: “If Facebook begins to learn what you look like how are they going to use that information in the future? Are they going to share that data with other sites?’

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