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Facebook Scans Photos Face in no Permission Facial Recognition Starts June

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by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

Facebook plans to know the real you a whole lot better: in weeks, the giant will recognize you by facial scanning--even on previously untagged photos. You are part of the database, like it or not, and without permission.

Someone forgot to ask users -- or didn't care.

The social networking site will scan all Facebook images already posted, in efforts to suggest names of people who appear in that photo op. Facebook first began rolling out a facial-recognition feature out to a test group last year--and now the "feature" is becoming official. Of course, there are obviously additional reasons that Facebook wants to compile that database. But users won't know those until the next feature. Or arrest.

Users will have the opportunity to opt out of the social networker's use of photos in terms of tagging--but that doesn't stop Facebook from keeping a database and record of the photos it's scanning. For whatever reason, which Facebook doesn't seem to be sharing with the general public or its users, the site's tool will still scan a person's face to figure out who that person is.

The maximum privacy option available for users, through opting out, is that the information won't be displayed. But Facebook's still doing the scans, and i'ts got it on file.

Users will still be able to tag friends as normal, manually. The site's more than 500 million users are already automatically included in the database. If 500 million users sounds like a lot, Facebook estimates that users upload 100 million pictures -- per day, and all to be scanned.

If it all sounds freaky, its about to get freakier yet: Facebook has already been instituting the facial scans and using those photos -- through a little, unknown "feature" that many may not consider a feature if they actually knew about it. Some might dub it more an invasion of privacy. Already buried in the Account Privacy Settings is a small checkbox that reads 'Suggest photos of me to friends' -- and needs to be unticked, or your photo's going to be flying around. Most Facebook users aren't even aware of the additional privacy setting's existence.

The facial technology scans are being met by a media backlash over a controversy as to why the social networking giant would scan the faces of all its users without notifying users first or receiving explicit permission to perform scanning.

Strangely, just last November, less than six months ago, CEO Zuckerberg said: "Before people-tagging came out, I think most people would have said that the best way to figure out who's in photos was to have some face-recognition algorithm," he said. "But it actually turns out that the best way is to just have people tagged."

It seems that theory, about manual tagging, didn't quite pan out for Zuckerberg--since the company's already instituting the face scans and recognition software this month. Well, either it didn't work out or, more likely, Facebook's come up with some other outrageous way to use that info down the line.

As to how to opt out of facial scanning for displayed photo tagging, users will have to wait until actual roll-out of the feature -- or until people or the media applies enough pressure to get that option released ahead of schedule -- later this June.

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