Facebook shuts down facial recognition tool, in some markets

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Facebook has been made to turn off its controversial facial recognition tool, which had been previously discussed here on iQ:

in the European Union. SMH reports:

FACEBOOK has disabled its controversial facial recognition feature in the European Union after criticism from government regulators and privacy advocates. The world’s largest online social network has already switched off the feature for new users and has now agreed to delete all data used by the software to identify members by October 15.

Please note that at present this only relates to Europe. Read the whole article here.


How to keep Facebook from recognising your face

Following on from the post on this blog on 30 July entitled Facial recognition technology will make you hard to miss, Read Write Web has posted an article on how you can stop Facebook from recognising your face.

  • Go to privacy settings
  • Edit settings
  • Click on timeline and tagging
  • Click on who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded
  • Click on no-one

Read the whole article here.

Facial recognition technology will make you hard to miss

Recently the Reason blog posted about how facial recognition technology is being rolled out more aggressively by Facebook.

Last month, Facebook acquired Face.com, an Israeli start-up that develops facial recognition technology. The networking site has used Face.com’s software to suggest friends to tag in the photos that users upload to the site. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), chairman of the Senate Privacy subcommittee, has voiced concern about Facebook not including sufficient privacy protections in the tagging feature. In comments to the Department of Commerce, Franken has written that Facebook likely holds the largest privately held collection of face prints in the world.

In the USA, the FBI are also going to be using this technology in investigations.

So if you want to travel anonymously in the future, you may have to add a hat and fake moustache to that bogus license plate you planned to buy.

 It would be interesting to know how Australian policing and security agencies plan to use this technology.

Google+ changes

As more people come online to Google+, it’s worth mentioning a few things to be aware of.

Find my face

This is an opt-in feature that you enable via Settings. It gives you the options to

prompt people you know to tag your face when it appears in photos. Of course, you have control over which tags you accept or reject, and you can turn the feature on or off in Google+ settings.

Instant upload

This is also an opt-in feature enabled via Settings. This gives you the option to automatically upload photos and videos to Google+ taken via your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad2. They begin as private, but you can change this if you want to share.

Instant Upload is only active while the Google+ iOS app is open, and for a brief period after you close it. Re-opening the Google+ app resumes your photo & video uploads exactly where they left off.

Let’s hope that Google+ keep these opt-in only and not move the goalposts a la Facebook.

Facebook and facial recognition

Recently Facebook introduced the ability for facial recognition technology to be used where “you’re offered the chance to tag groups of your friends in an album, Facebook will use facial recognition technology, and faces on previously tagged photos, to suggest the name you should tag a friend with. The feature is turned on by default, and you must change your privacy settings to opt out of it”. To change settings:

  • Go to your privacy settings.
  • Click “Customize settings.”
  • Scroll down to “Things others share.”
  • Find “Suggest photos of me to friends.”
  • Edit accordingly.

Ads have since been running on Facebook to alert users.