Facebook has started asking European and Canadian users to let it use facial recognition technology to identify them in photos and videos.
Facebook originally began face-matching users outside Canada in 2011, but stopped doing so for EU citizens the following year after protests from regulators and privacy campaigners.
The new request is one of several opt-in permissions being rolled out in advance of a new data privacy law.
The move is likely to be controversial.
The company is currently embroiled in a privacy scandal related to the use of its members’ personal information by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
The social network is also facing a class-action lawsuit in the US for deploying the facial recognition technology there without users’ explicit consent.
“Biometric identification and tracking across the billions of photos on the platform exacerbates serious privacy risks to users,” commented Silkie Carlo, director of UK civil liberties group Big Brother Watch.
Asking permission for something they have probably been doing for years.
Facebook’s misuse of their users’ biometric information could potentially amount to billions of dollars in damages after a federal judge greenlighted an Illinois class action suit against the firm’s facial recognition feature.
Facebook violated an Illinois state law by improperly using their photo-scanning and facial recognition technologies and storing biometric data without their users’ consent, a federal judge in California ruled on Monday, after reviewing a 2015 claim made against Facebook by three Illinois plaintiffs.
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