Your profile photo on Facebook, from now on, will function more than just a window to your profile. The social giant is reportedly planning to add one’s profile photo to its facial recognition database to speed up the process of photo tagging, Reuters reports.
“Our goal is to facilitate tagging so that people know when there are photos of them on our service,” Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said. What it essentially wants to do is improve its ‘Tag Suggest’ feature, which automatically tags a person in a photo using facial recognition. It identifies faces in newly uploaded photos by comparing them only to previous snapshots in which users were tagged.
For the privacy concerned people, Facebook says that it will only save profile photos which are visible to public and if users are still uncomfortable, they can opt out of the Tag Suggest feature. This might allay some of the fears, but the social giant does admit that it may use the technology for other purposes in the future.
“Can I say that we will never use facial recognition technology for any other purposes? Absolutely not,” Egan said. But, she noted, “If we decided to use it in different ways we will continue to provide people transparency about that and we will continue to provide control.”
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