Facebook under scrutiny for photo tagging
Facebook is frequently in the throngs of bad press for its privacy issues and today is no different. The social media giant will be probed by the European Union (EU) data-protection regulators for its face recognition software because it suggests users’ names to tag in pictures without their permission. How many times have you been tagged in a photo on Facebook and you looked ungodly or were caught in a compromising position?
A group of privacy watchdogs from the EU’s 27 nations will study the software for possible rule violations and authorities in the UK and Ireland have said that they are also looking into the photo-tagging function.
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“Tags of people on pictures should only happen based on people’s prior consent and it can’t be activated by default,” said Gerard Lommel, a member of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party. Such automatic tagging suggestions “can bear a lot of risks for users” and the European data-protection officials will “clarify to Facebook that this can’t happen like this.”
The photo tagging feature is active by default on existing users’ accounts and Facebook has suggested ways to remove or edit this feature. Facebook also says that the reason for Tag Suggestions came about as a way to help users who already use this software; photo tags occur more than 100 million times a day, according to Facebook. “Tag suggestions are only made to people when they add new photos to the site, and only friends are suggested,” the company said.