Technology News

Facebook extends facial recognition tech

Facebook has rolled out facial recognition technology which moniFFtors people's photos in the UK, in a move which has made a security expert question the privacy implications of the service.
The social networking site is now searching its servers for photos that look like UK Facebook users, and asking friends of those users to tag the photos, according to Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley.
"Facebook not only gathers information about what you do, but also what you look like," Cluley told ZDNet UK on Tuesday.
Users have found that Facebook had enabled photo recognition outside of the US in the last few days, said Cluley, who criticized the company for enabling photo recognition by default.
"Unfortunately, once again, Facebook has added a new feature to share additional information about its users, and turned it on by default," said Cluley. "Most Facebook users still don't know how to set their privacy options safely, finding the whole system confusing. It's even harder though to keep control when Facebook changes the settings without your knowledge."
Facebook uses an algorithm to compare new photos with people in old photos, and suggest tags.

A Facebook spokeswoman told ZDNet UK on Tuesday that automatic tagging was "just making the whole process easier".
"Only your friends can tag you in photos so nothing has changed to the way photo tagging works," said the spokeswoman. "Previously, you had to tag each photo individually which could be very time-consuming."
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged in May that users were worried about Facebook privacy when new services were rolled out, but said that people get used to the services.