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Facebook Communications Privacy Social Networks Software The Internet

Facebook Silently Enables Facial Recognition Abilities For Users Outside EU, Canada (neowin.net) 70

Facebook is now informing users around the world that it's rolling out facial recognition features. Users in the European Union and Canada will not be notified because laws restrict this type of activity in those areas. Neowin reports: With the new tools, you'll be able to find photos that you're in but haven't been tagged in; they'll help you protect yourself against strangers using your photo; and Facebook will be able to tell people with visual impairments who's in their photos and videos. By default, Facebook warns that this feature is enabled but can be switched off at any time; additionally, the firm says it may add new capabilities at any time. In its initial statement, Facebook said the following about the impersonation protections it was introducing: "We want people to feel confident when they post pictures of themselves on Facebook so we'll soon begin using face recognition technology to let people know when someone else uploads a photo of them as their profile picture. We're doing this to prevent people from impersonating others on Facebook."
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Facebook Silently Enables Facial Recognition Abilities For Users Outside EU, Canada

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  • Silently? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @09:47PM (#56197977)

    How is telling you they're doing it and telling you how to turn it off 'silently enabling' it?

    I got a clear message about this when I logged in

    • How is telling you they're doing it and telling you how to turn it off 'silently enabling' it?

      I got a clear message about this when I logged in

      My message said i had to turn it on as it was off already...

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Presumably they enabled the facial recognition back end ages ago. Maybe even for EU citizens. Even if the user part has only just been turned on, that database exists somewhere.

      Just wait until that leaks out. Of course I'm assuming GCHQ and the NSA hacked it long ago anyway.

      • Why should I go through the hassle of hacking something that I can get by simply asking nicely? Or if that doesn't work with an "or else" attached.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @10:23PM (#56198087) Homepage

    Facebook used to be a digital Rolodex of aggravating people you'd rather send an occasional birthday card than speak to in person, but in the last 7 years it's shaping up to become new societal piss-test for everything from dating to employment. Now you can look forward to not only being ostracized for your lack of facebook participation, but actively chastised for it when facebook identifies you as a friend/coworker/acquaintance in someone elses account.

    with facebooks mandatory facial recognition it soon wont matter if you avoid the site at all, theyll just build and publish a profile of you anyway.

    • by duke_cheetah2003 ( 862933 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @11:08PM (#56198221) Homepage

      Facebook used to be a digital Rolodex of aggravating people you'd rather send an occasional birthday card than speak to in person, but in the last 7 years it's shaping up to become new societal piss-test for everything from dating to employment.

      Wanna see where this end up? Black Mirror, season 3, episode 1: Nosedive

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They already build one. I signed up for an account a while back to keep in touch with a small-ish group. Facebook suggested people I hadn't interacted with for years. My account was new, but my profile was already there. A bit creepy if you ask me. I hope the US grows a backbone and clamps down on what they can do without users and non-users permission.

    • by Guyle ( 79593 )
      Where is it mandatory? The message I got said "we can do this now, right now it's turned off, if you want to participate then go here to turn it on."
  • by Ada_Rules ( 260218 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @10:25PM (#56198089) Homepage Journal
    I am in the US. Message told me the feature was available. It was off by default. It told me how to enable it if I wanted it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I got the message yesterday.

    It's ON and they say you can go to settings to turn it OFF.

  • Protection Racket (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @10:48PM (#56198157)

    they'll help you protect yourself against strangers using your photo

    I don't like facial recognition. But I do like stopping people from using photos of me. It sure is nice of facebook...to offer to protect us...from facebook. All they need in return is a little more intrusion. Well played facebook. Well played. Even shifted the blame to other users.

  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @11:08PM (#56198217)

    Outside of EU, Facebook looks at YOU!

  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @11:48PM (#56198341)

    Here in Brazil the thing rolled out but off as default, much like it was reported in US.
    I wonder what Facebook is taking in consideration to make it off or on by default.
    I'd think that in EU it'd be the last place on Earth that Facebook would force something related to privacy erosion as on by default, but we'll see how that goes for them. If they end up sued, it's their own fault.

  • Is not silently if you are notified

    but is still a tad creepy.

    The only upside is being notified of photos were you are present but not tagged.

    I choose to let it be for the time being.

    Let's see how facebook deals with the fact that i lost 38Kilos in 2011 (84 pounds)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hilarious how this is being spun as a benevolent policy to protect their users. I doubt profile picture impersonation is such a big deal, but if FB plants that seed of doubt it might convince people to opt-in "for their own good".

  • by tsa ( 15680 )

    So happy to live in the EU.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This has zero to do with protection - this is just another way to mine data about you, as if you were a Bitcoin... Look no further than going to your "General Account Settings" page. There I found that it no longer had my email address lableled as email address, but rather it is now labeled "Ad account contact", implying your email is now how they wrap up your info and sell it off.

  • ...With the new tools, you'll be able to...

    How is Facebook going to use this new capability? Will it offer money to stores to obtain real-time video feeds and find out who the customers are? Will it tap into local government security cameras to track people as they walk past a store?

  • They're not doing this to 'protect' anyone. They're doing it to facilitate their building of comprehensive profiles of all Facebook users.
  • Look, you live in a third world country if you're in the USA.

    Adapt.

    They are watching you. Everywhere.

    And is it ok if I have that choco bar you forgot?

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein

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