Facebook Inc. is considering incorporating your your display picture and the pictures of its 1 billion plus user base into its facial recognition database. What would be the results? Well, the company claims that once your pictures have been added into their database, it would make it easier for Facebook to automatically tag pictures of you when people upload them on the social network.
"Our goal is to facilitate tagging so that people know when there are photos of them on our service," Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said. This move will go on to enhance Facebook's 'Tag Suggest' feature, which has been designed to tag a person by using facial recognition. It does this by simply comparing the uploaded picture with your previously tagged pictures to make a match before performing a tag.
Concerned about your privacy? Well, the Facebook says that if you're uncomfortable with the feature, then you can always opt out of "Tag Suggest". Also, the company will only tag you in pictures which are visible to public.
Another major problems being that this change from Facebook comes during a time where there have been revelations of a US government electronic surveillance program. However, in response to this, Facebook, Google and other companies claim that they have never participated in these programs.
An even bigger concern is that Facebook confirms that it might use this database for purposes other than automatic facial tagging in the future.
"Can I say that we will never use facial recognition technology for any other purposes? Absolutely not," Egan said. But, she added, "If we decided to use it in different ways we will continue to provide people transparency about that and we will continue to provide control."