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Facebook face-recognition

December 16, 2010

Reports are that US users can now use an automated face-recognition function to tag people in photos posted to the site. To make it clear, this is not the already dubious practice of someone else tagging you in a photo, but an automated service – enter a picture and the system will search around identifying and tagging.

As a Facebook engineer is quoted as saying:

“Now if you upload pictures from your cousin’s wedding, we’ll group together pictures of the bride and suggest her name… Instead of typing her name 64 times, all you’ll need to do is click ‘Save’ to tag all of your cousin’s pictures at once.”

Once again, just as with Facebook Places, the privacy implications of this do not appear to have been thought through (or more likely just disregarded) and it’s notable that this has not yet been extended to Canada, where the federal Privacy Commissioner has made it very clear that Facebook cannot unilaterally override privacy laws.

Let’s see how this one plays out, and how much, once again, Facebook has to retrofit privacy settings…

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