Facebook tells users how to opt out of facial recognition


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Facebook has begun running ads to show users how to opt out of a controversial facial-recognitition feature for photographs after Connecticut Atty. Gen. George Jepsen raised privacy concerns.

Jepsen said in a written statement that ‘Facebook has made significant changes that will provide better service and greater privacy protection to its users.’


I am still trying to figure out what these ‘significant changes’ are.

In a letter to Facebook in June, Jepsen said Facebook should ask users to opt into the feature rather than forcing them to opt out of it. Facebook has not done that.

What has changed? Facebook is running ads that direct users to a link where they can learn how to disable the feature in their privacy settings. I showed you how to disable the feature last month.

In an e-mailed statement, Tim Sparapani, Facebook’s director of public policy, said the ‘collaboration’ with Jepsen ‘means that people across the country using Facebook will be more aware of our personalized privacy settings.’

‘Tag suggestions’ uses facial recognition software to help speed up the process of labeling friends in photos. How it works: The software scans uploaded photos, compares faces in those photos with friends in other photos, then suggests a ‘tag’ for the person in the photo.

Jepsen also said Facebook has assured him that when users opt out, all of the data collected is deleted. Again, that’s what Facebook has said all along.



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-- Jessica Guynn