Some Facebook users don't have the option to turn off facial recognition technology, study finds

Mail Online | 5/22/2019 | Annie Palmer For
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A consumer advocacy group has discovered that not all Facebook users have access to a privacy setting that lets them opt out of the site's facial recognition technology.

Consumer Reports examined a set of Facebook accounts and found that a significant number didn't have the ability to toggle off Face Recognition, a feature that uses facial recognition technology to identify users in tagged photos.

Facebook - Years - Users - Recognition - Setting

That's despite Facebook announcing almost two years ago that all users would be able to opt out of facial recognition entirely through the setting.

Consumer Reports looked at the accounts of 31 Facebook users and found that eight of them didn't have the privacy setting.

Site - Facebook - Accounts - Setting - Half-dozen

Additionally, the site created several new Facebook accounts to test if they had the setting and found that about a half-dozen of them did not.

It's not clear exactly how many of Facebook's 2 billion-plus users lack access to the Face Recognition privacy setting.

Consumer - Reports - Complaint - US - Federal

However, Consumer Reports has since filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission based on their findings.

'If Facebook is purporting to provide a setting that is missing for some users, that's a problem,' said Justin Brookman, director of privacy and technology policy at Consumer Reports.

Lack - Commitment - Consumers - Privacy

'At the very least it demonstrates a lack of commitment to protecting consumers' privacy.'

Facebook has since disputed Consumer Reports' findings, telling Fast Company that the site is incorrectly claiming that some people don't have the face recognition setting.

Company - Ability - Recognition - System - December

The company first introduced the ability to opt out of its facial recognition system in December 2017.

In a blog post titled, 'Hard Questions: Should I Be Afraid of Face Recognition Technology?', the company broken down many of the concerns around how its systems work.


'...We learned in our research...
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