Social network company Facebook will no longer scan the faces of new users by default. Facebook will now ask for permission first. Existing users of the site who did not get the site’s face recognition system will be alerted about it.
Facebook notes: “If you do not currently have the face recognition setting and do nothing, we will not use face recognition to recognize you or suggest tags.” In short, it’s not on by default for these users. Good!
Despite the social network company’s efforts to convey its updated policy clearly, however, there are still some users who may be left uninformed.
For those users, Facebook’s face recognition feature may be enabled without them realizing it. And that’s not good, because Facebook’s face recognition practices have bothered some privacy-conscious users…
Facebook’s interest in scanning faces—with and without asking for permission first—goes way back. The technology originally appeared at the end of 2010 as Tag Suggestions. The tag suggestions feature was turned on by default for users in most countries, and if you never turned it off manually, then its broader replacement—the face recognition option—may be (or has already been) enabled for you as well.
So why isn’t Facebook just asking every user explicitly, now, if they want the feature on or off? A spokesperson told Fast Company, “In the US and [other countries] where Tag Suggestions was available, we respected people’s Tag Suggestions settings choice.”
Have you turned your face recognitions off? I believe it’s time we did.
(Image Credit: Simon/ Pixabay)