Digital News Report – The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking the government agency to investigate Facebook for violating privacy with their new facial recognition service. EPIC said that Facebook opted in users of the social networking website without their consent and instead makes the users go in and turn off the feature. Facebook has a facial recognition feature that will automate tagging of people that use Facebook.
EPIC claims that Facebook has violated their privacy agreement among users of the website, and call the facial recognition feature as “Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices.” They are asking the FTC to force Facebook to put a halt on the recognition feature until the government agency can do a complete investigation.
Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who is co-Chairman of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus said in a statement the FTC should investigate Facebook for their facial recognition. He said that Facebook should have asked users to opt-in not just assume that they wanted to participate in this feature.
Rep. Markey, along with Congressman Joe Barton have written to Facebook two times over the past 8 months in regards to other privacy breeches. In October 2010 the two wrote to Facebook when there was “tens of millions” users information that was leaked to third party applications even when they had privacy settings turned on. On May 11, 2011, the congressmen wrote Facebook again about a security concern that made personal information of users available to advertisers, analytics firms and other third parties.
By: Victoria Brown