Facebook Facial Recognition App Makes UK Debut

Facebook Facial Recognition App Makes UK DebutFacebook’s Photo Magic feature for the company’s Messenger service is expanding beyond the US. Based on Facebook’s facial recognition technology, the system scans through user’s photos and identifies familiar faces (based on the user’s Facebook contacts), tagging them and prompting the user to share them in the process.

That might immediately bring to mind the kinds of privacy issues that Facebook has dealt with in the US—class action lawsuits over Facebook features based on facial recognition technology—but there are measures in place to protect against intrusive behavior on the app’s part. The user must manually activate Photo Magic, and can turn it off any time; and the feature only works with newer photos, and won’t scan through the user’s whole photo history.

Nevertheless, Facebook is being cautious in where it has made the feature available. It’s available in the US, of course, and now the company is aiming to release it globally, with the exception of the European Union, where privacy laws are more strict; nor is it available in Canada. Facebook has evidently learned from experience that this kind of technology could come under scrutiny, however innocuous its applications may be.

Source: International Business Times

December 18, 2015 – by Alex Perala