Social media giant Facebook has announced that the controversial facial recognition feature will now be presented as an opt-in function. This decision comes as a result of the increased pressure on the company to improve its personal data and privacy policies.
The facial recognition feature first rolled out several years ago and was used to detect faces in images, so that people could be tagged on them. However, later on, Facebook decided to upgrade the function and let it roam through everyone’s pictures so that users can be informed if they appear in content on the network.
According to the recent announcement, Facebook will be setting the feature to disabled by default and letting people tag their friends manually. Of course, anyone who wishes to benefit from this functionality can easily activate it at the settings panel.
Facial recognition is becoming more controversial
Facebook is not the only company facing criticism for the use of facial recognition software. This functionality is becoming increasingly contentious, with numerous instances of lawsuits and privacy violation complaints.
One of the most severe instances of the misappropriation of this type of software was recently reported in the United Kingdom. According to authorities, a contractor located at the King’s Cross area in London had utilized facial recognition software in street cameras, without notifying pedestrians.
This is a gross violation of personal privacy, and the company was audited and fined for its illicit activities.
By making the feature opt-in, Facebook is trying to better protect the privacy and personal data of its customers after facing severe backlash in both Europe and America. Facebook’s lax policies for the management of personal data was one of the reasons for the adoption of GDPR.