Facebook Quietly Rolls out Facial Recognition Tool

by , CNET.com 6/7/ 2011

“…If the [facial recognition] feature, which is turned on automatically by default, makes you feel uneasy, you can disable it by going to the Privacy Settings in your Facebook account via “Suggest photos of me to friends.”

If the facial-recognition feature is beneficial to users, then Facebook should at least let them know about the change, Wisniewski said. Even if you opt out of a privacy setting, and your friend doesn’t, then your vacation photos can still be publicly available to a mutual friend or a lurking stranger who happens to stumble upon them. If you don’t want all 60 photos of you in your bikini uploaded, then you’ll have to untag them all manually.

“You’re not a customer, you’re a product,” Wisniewski said. “With this facial-recognition feature, photos will be automatically indexed, which will help information spread more quickly.”

Jules Polonetsky, director of the organization Future of Privacy, isn’t as worried. “It hasn’t raised the hackles of users in the six months this has been available in the U.S. because tags are suggested only based on pics that users already have access to,” he said. “Facebook is using a fairly limited capacity of recognition compared to what is possible. Going further to identify pics based on other data the system has or third-party data would certainly create a backlash….” Read the rest of the story here.

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