Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has been getting some heat in various countries over how it handles user privacy and its sharing of personal information. One of the really sticky things has been Facebook’s facial recognition technology, which allows users to “tag” friends in photos and share them on the social-network site. However, many countries had some trouble with this technology, especially as it was a default opt-in feature on Facebook – and many users complained that their privacy was being infringed.
This week, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) announced that it is bringing back the facial recognition technology to U.S. users after the company put the feature through what it calls “technical improvements.” What those improvements are, the company would not say – however, there is report that this “tagging” feature actually include an opt-out that did not exist before – though there are steps to take; it’s not simple.
What is not much of a coincidence, the feature was turned off for a while so Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) could address the privacy concerns. Then during 2012, Facebook closed its purchase deal of Face.com, a facial-recognition technology firm based in Israel. There is no word how relevant the purchase is with the “technical improvements” of the face-rec feature. However, it does seem in early reports that the company has not changed any of its privacy settings or rules regarding the feature – which may bring into questions whether “tagging” will be rolled out again in other countries, especially the ones where this was such a problem before.
“This is the same feature that millions of people previously used to help them quickly share billions of photos with friends and family,” Facebook wrote on its Facebook and Privacy page, its only “official” statement so far.
As of 2:10 p.m. ET Friday, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is down almost 3 percent on the day to $30.10 per share.
Have you been a “tagger” on Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)? What do you thin of this feature? Do you think this will help with user interactions with the site, or will it harm? We’d like your thoughts in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stocks mentioned.
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