Facebook is treading carefully with its facial-recognition “tag suggestion” feature and now is making it easier for users to opt out of the feature according to Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, via Bloomberg. When last we heard from Facebook’s facial recognition feature it had just been opened released as a global feature but remained opt out as opposed to opt in, upsetting many users and privacy advocates across the world.
According to Bloomberg, Jepsen said that Facebook will begin running online ads today that link users to their privacy settings, allowing them to opt out of the service. Have you seen the ads to which Jepsen refers? Have you or will you opt out of the “tag suggestion” feature?
Facebook does not tag people in photos automatically. It tries to recognize when people are in photos and suggests that users tag them. What upsets privacy advocates and government regulators like Jepsen is that Facebook has been sharing personal information by default. Facebook reportedly gave Jepsen assurances that the facial recognition software was used purely in the suggestion feature and that it was not a way for other users to glean more information from user profiles.
Facebook users upload more than 100 million photos to the platform on a daily basis. A company called Divvyshot and founder Sam Odio were acquired by Facebook to help institute the facial recognition feature. Odio, the product manager for photos, left Facebook in June to create a new company called Freshplum.
Bloomberg also reported that Jepsen responded to problems with impostor accounts, making it easier to report and delete them. Facebook added “new language and links to a contact form to help users trying to report an impostor or fake profile.” Part of Google Plus’s trouble around using real names and not allowing brands on the platform at first had to do with authentication and dealing with potential impostor accounts.