20 May Some Facebook users can’t turn off face recognition, study suggests
A small, qualitative, Consumer Reports study suggests that many Facebook users may lack the ability to prevent the social networking company from using facial recognition technology to identify their faces on the platform.
Consumer Reports filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission after finding that 8 of 31 test accounts lacked the ability to turn off facial recognition. The publication points out that it does not know how many Facebook users are likely to lack the control.
CR also created a group of new Facebook accounts to see which of them offered the facial recognition opt-out. It found “about a half-dozen” of the accounts lacked the feature.
Facebook says it uses facial recognition to assist users in tagging photos and videos with the names of other Facebook users, to aid the visually impaired, and to help the company spot fake accounts.
The social network began using facial recognition to help people to tag their friends in photos and videos back in 2010. It also provided a way for users prevent their faces being ID’d and tagged using a Tag Suggestions setting.
In December 2017, Facebook introduced an easier way to totally opt out. “We learned in our research that people want a way to completely turn off face recognition technology rather than on a feature-by-feature basis,” Facebook said in a blog post at the time. “Our new setting is an on/off switch.”
The FTC is currently working out the amount of a fine against Facebook for violating a 2012 pledge to be transparent with consumers about the data it collects. The fine could be as much as $5 billion.
Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment.
Source: Fast Company