Facebook ‘sorry’ for face tagging launch

Facebook ‘sorry’ for face tagging launch

By , Jun 10 in blog with 0 comments

Facebook icon thumb Facebook sorry for face tagging launchFacebook has apologised for the way it rolled out new software that automatically recognises users’ faces without informing them.

The social networking website admitted it should have done more to notify members about the global launch of the system.

The new feature scans uploaded photographs and attempts to match faces to images already stored on the site.

It then suggests the name of a friend to assign, or ‘tag’, to the photo.

Although users have the option to switch it off, many complained that they were not explicitly asked if they wanted it activated.

Facebook said that the system was intended to speed up the process of tagging.

It was introduced in the US in December 2010 but has only now been launched globally.

In a statement, the company headed by Mark Zuckerberg said it ‘should have been more clear with people during the roll-out process when this became available to them.’

Facebook said it has been contacted by regulators and was responding to their inquiries to ‘satisfy any concerns they will have’.

It added that the facial recognition technology would only be applied to newly-uploaded photos.

Users can disable the feature by turning off the ‘suggest photos of me to friends’ option on their privacy settings.

Graham Cluley, senior consultant at security firm Sophos, said that users’ annoyance was less about the product’s purpose than the manner in which it was made live.

In his blog, he writes: ‘We simply had to wait until Facebook decided to roll it out to our account. Now might be a good time to check your Facebook privacy settings.’

He added that the actual tagging is still done only by friends, but Facebook appeared to be pushing friends to tag each other.

Face-recognition technology is just the latest Facebook product that has sparked privacy concerns.

Facebook Places, a location-based service, was launched last year, broadcasting information about users’ whereabouts unless they specifically changed their privacy settings.

At the end of last year, Facebook admitted an ‘inadvertent privacy breach’, confirming that some of its most popular applications had transmitted identifying information, such as user names, to advertising and internet-tracking companies.

The admission followed a Wall Street Journal investigation which uncovered evidence that some popular Facebook apps had shared user data with internet tracking organisations.

The breach affected tens of millions of users, including those who had set their profiles to the most secure and robust privacy settings.

Facebook insisted the breach did not expose any private user information and is still working with developers to improve the system.


About the author

 Facebook sorry for face tagging launch Mike Andrew has been working with the Internet and small business for over 12 years. Mike has been a keynote speaker at conventions and seminars and conducted social media training sessions all over the world. Mike has an extensive media background having worked in electronic media for over 30 years. Mike specialises in social media and Internet marketing strategy, SEO techniques and search engine marketing campaigns. His articles appear on numerous blogs around the web as well as national magazines.

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