Facebook have recently announced that they will be incorporating over 1 billion users profile pictures into their facial recognition database. This will instantly increase the scope of the already controversial technology.
The world’s largest social network made the announcment on Thursday in an update to its data use policy. Facebook’s tag feature already automatically picks up users friends face in photos. However, this new adapation will expand facial recognition technology to automatically identify the users’ profile pictures.
Facebook have declared that there will be an opt out feature, which means that the individual’s images can be excluded from the faical recognition database.
The change will only effect US Facebook users as Facebook previously raised regulatory concerns in Europe. Facebook was forced to disable its facial recognition technology across Europe after privacy authorities in Germany and Ireland raised privacy concerns.
Facebook does declare that they do not allow the US government direct access to their computer servers and they only supply personal information upon specific request and following a review.
According to recent information regarding the NSA’s surveillance programme it has been claimed that Facebook, amonst other companies, have been complicit in NSA’s surveillance scheme.
However, Mark Zuckerberg at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference did declare that the government and tipped the balance between citizens rights and its duty to protect and serve.