Regulators in the U.S. and Europe are concerned about a new Facebook feature that uses face-recognition software to “tag” users in their friends’ photos. Other services, notably Google’s Picasa and Apple’s iPhoto, already use this technology without objection (as far as we know).
Then again, not everybody has Facebook’s appalling privacy record.
Of course it’s much easier to have a machine identify your friends and we’d think people would want to know when someone is posting photos of them online.
Still, Facebook isn’t in it for the sake of convenience alone. As a lawyer for the Electronic Privacy Information Center says in the L.A. Times, the new feature “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.” —PZS
Los Angeles Times:
The Electronic Privacy Information Center, based in Washington, D.C., said Wednesday that it plans to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission raising concerns over Facebook’s new “tag suggestions” feature which allow users to identify people across multiple photos at once using facial-recognition software.
“Obviously we’re not going to comment in detail until we file whatever were going to file,” said John Verdi, senior council at EPIC. “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.”