Facebook photo tagging by Facial Recognition draws criticisms, users’ privacy at risk

By on Jun 9, 2011 in Internet, Technology, United States, World Comments

Facebook photo tagging through facial recognition is now rolling out globally, but apparently draws criticisms with the users’ privacy noted to be at risk.

Facebook photo sharing through facial recognition

Facebook photo sharing
(Click Image To Enlarge)

Screen shot Credit: Facebook.com

According to the latest update from Facebook blog on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, face recognition software is being used to identify someone in the photo being uploaded and is now being rolled out worldwide.

Apparently, Facebook started this project last October through “Added group tagging” where a user can type a name of his or her friend and will be applied to multiple photos of that person.

Now, Facebook has upgraded this process through “Tag Suggestions” but apparently being questioned by some online security experts and disagreed by some users.

In this process, Facebook will automatically suggest the user to tag his or her friends by matching the photo to other photos previously tagged in, and therefore “friends” can easily tag the person on the photo.

Nevertheless, Facebook said that if for any reason, a user does not want their name to be suggested for tagging, the setting can be disabled by going to the “Privacy Settings“.

Then, clicking the “Customize settings” can lead the user to the “Suggest photos of me to friends” under the “Things others share” label.

By clicking the “Edit Settings“, Facebook users can choose either “Disabled” or “Enabled” depending on what they want, but the default setting is “Enabled” in which some critics object.

Apparently, Sophos’ online security expert Graham Cluley noted on the same day, their earlier open letter to Facebook about “privacy by default”, that sharing of information without users’ agreement should not be allowed.

On a post at PC World on Wednesday, this Facebook photo tagging by facial recognition is being identified as “creepy” and “terrifying” and noting that 200 millions photos are being uploaded everyday.

Facial recognition technology will ultimately culminate in the ability to search for people using just a picture.” PC World’s Sarah Jacobsson Purewal wrote.

“Imagine, a world in which someone can simply take a photo of you on the street, in a crowd, or with a telephoto lens, and discover everything about you on the Internet.” Purewal added.

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