Facebook Institutes Photo-Tag Suggestions via Facial Recognition – Takes Heat from the EU

Facebook has rolled out facial recognition technology on its platform that searches a member’s photos and suggests tags. A member can opt-out of being suggested as a tag in another member’s photo album by changing their privacy settings, though a member can still manually tag you. Check out the Facebook blog post.

The EU takes issue with this because it is an opt-out regime. This quote is from Bloomberg:

“Tags of people on pictures should only happen based on people’s prior consent and it can’t be activated by default,” said Lommel. Such automatic tagging suggestions “can bear a lot of risks for users” and the European data-protection officials will “clarify to Facebook that this can’t happen like this.”

If you let your friend take your photo, are you consenting to it being posted in an social media environment? In this day and age, where else does everyone put their pictures? Do you now have an affirmative duty to tell people that you do not want to be identified online? What about when social networks specifically require the poster to tick a box stating that they have the consent of the persons in the photo to post and identify them? I’ll be interested to follow this and see if there are any accuracy issues.

My wife hates it. She has stated repeatedly that she feels her privacy is violated if others tag her in photos. She feels as though she has no control. She will be opting out.

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