The Inquirer-Home

Facebook comes clean on facial recognition and adverts

Doesn't want more fines over privacy lapses
Fri Aug 30 2013, 12:45

PRIVACY HATER Facebook has released its latest raft of changes to its terms and conditions, including a small update to the way the firm makes use of its facial recognition technologies to increase the accuracy of photo-tagging.

It also details updates to clarify the use of user data in advertising following a $20m court settlement last week.

While facial recognition tagging currently only uses other tagged images to make recommendations, the feature would change to use profile pictures to suggest tags. This update would mean that automatic tags would be made based on the content of a user's profile picture, whether they are tagged in it or not.

This particular feature, however, will not be available in the EU following recommendations from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) in 2011, which saw all EU users' facial-recognition data deleted.

The addition can also be turned off by altering privacy settings. Facebook did however clarify to The INQUIRER that facial recognition tagging in the EU is currently being worked on so it adheres to DPC best practices.

Elsewhere in the update, Facebook said it has clarified the way in which users' profile pictures and other data may be used alongside advertisements. "We revised our explanation of how things like your name, profile picture and content may be used in connection with ads or commercial content to make it clear that you are granting Facebook permission for this use when you use our services."

Facebook said that it is implementing this change following a "court case relating to advertising". The case in question was brought about in 2011 when a group of Facebook users took legal action following anger that their profile pictures had been used in adverts without their permission. Facebook proposed a $20m settlement, which was approved by the judge.

The update also included reminders about how third-party applications can use user data.

In a blog post on Facebook's data governance pages, chief privacy officer Erin Egan asked users to provide their feedback on the changes within seven days by leaving comments on the post.



Share this:

blog comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to INQ newsletters

Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ

INQ Poll

Happy new year!

What tech are you most looking forward to in 2015