Facebook is thinking about establishing a facial recognition database that would include the profile photos of its users, Reuters reports.
The database would be used to boost the "Tag Suggest" feature, which uses facial recognition to make it easier to tag friends who show up in photos.
For those concerned about their privacy in the face of recent revelations of mass NSA surveillance, Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said users would be able to opt out of the Tag Suggest feature. Opting out means that that user's profile photo would not be included in the facial recognition database. Facebook, as well as many other tech firms including Microsoft, Apple, Google, have been identified as NSA collaborators (unwilling, they say).
Egan hasn't ruled out the possibility of using facial recognition technology for other purposes as well.
"Can I say that we will never use facial recognition technology for any other purposes? Absolutely not. If we decided to use it in different ways we will continue to provide people transparency about that and we will continue to provide control," Egan promised.
Facebook also made a change to its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities that concerns children under 18, according to Reuters. Facebook now allows companies to use some of the personal information found in profiles of users under 18 in advertisements. Facebook adjusted the language of its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to indicate that by joining Facebook, any users under the age of 18 have indicated that their parent or legal guardian has given Facebook permission to let marketers use "some" of their personal data in ads. It's unclear what constitutes "some."
I cover video games, tech, privacy issues and more for IBT. Prior to joining the staff, I wrote for Major League Baseball, Computer Shopper and other publications. I earned...
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