Facebook Profile Photos To Have Facial Recognition Feature

By: Zain Nabi  |   August 30th, 2013   |   News, Social Media

Facebook is planning to incorporate its more than 1 billion members’ profile picture into its growing database of facial recognition. This plan will enlarge the scope of the contentious technology of social networking. Facebook has made some updates in its data use policy recently, in which they made some improvement in the performance of its “Tag suggests” feature. The facial recognition technology is used to speed up the process of tagging friends and family who appear in photos posted on Facebook.


The company has made these changes when the U.S. government electronic surveillance program has conducted a scrutiny of the privacy practices of the Internet companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Many companies, including Facebook and Google Inc insisted that they never violated the rules and regulations given by the law and only provided information in response to specific requests, after careful review.


Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said, “That adding members’ public profile photos would give users better control over their personal information, by making it easier to identify posted photos in which they appear. Our goal is to facilitate tagging so that people know when there are photos of them on our service.”


She stressed that there are many Facebook users who feel uncomfortable with the technology of facial recognition and there must be an option of “opt out” of the tag suggest feature, in which the profile picture of the person will not be included in the database of facial recognition. For many technology companies the facial recognition technology has been a much sensitive issue, because of some privacy issues with the government officials. The company introduced tag suggest feature in 2011, but it is still not available in Europe because of some regulatory concerns there.


Egan said, “Facebook was not currently using facial recognition technology for any other features, but that could change.”


“Can I say that we will never use facial recognition technology for any other purposes? Absolutely not,” Egan said. But, she noted, “if we decided to use it in different ways we will continue to provide people transparency about that and we will continue to provide control.”

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