Facebook has responded to the privacy outcry over its new facial recognition system, by running advertisements that show users how to turn it off. Facebook had opted users into the “Tag Suggestions” feature earlier this year.
The feature uses facial recognition technology to identify people in photographs posted on Facebook, and then suggests to their friends that they should “tag” them so they are easier to find. The move prompted concerns that photographs could be shared more widely than intended and provoked criticism that Facebook was “eroding the online privacy of its users by stealth".
Critics said netizens should have been given a choice as to whether to use a new feature.
Facebook admitted it “should have been more clear” about the system and is now running advertisements on all user profiles that “help people to learn about the feature and how they can control it". The advertisements, which according to Facebook have been displayed over 2.7 billion times, invite users to adjust their privacy settings.
Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said he was satisfied by Facebook’s response. "Facebook has made significant changes that will provide better service and greater privacy protection to its users,” the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
"For any users who opt out, any facial recognition data collected will be deleted,” he added.