Facebook facial recognition feature sparks renewed concerns

Facebook has expanded the availability of technology by slowly introducing a new automatic facial recognition feature. The “˜Tag Suggestion’ option uses facial recognition to speed up the process of labeling friends that appear in photos posted to a user’s profile.

According to the social networking service and website, people add more than 100 million photo tags to Facebook on a daily basis. Back in December, Facebook announced their plan to introduce the service in the United States. Facebook acknowledged the feature was now available to “most countries” in an official blog post on Tuesday.

The social media network, which hosts more than 500 million users, has received some criticism for allegedly neglecting to notify its users that the site has enabled the facial recognition feature. Photo-tagging suggestions are only made when new photos are added to Facebook and users can disable the feature in their privacy settings.

Privacy concerns are not a first for Facebook. Following a year-long investigation, privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart determined in July 2009 that Facebook was operating outside of the country’s private-sector privacy law. One month later, Stoddart announced a deal with the company, outlining Facebook’s promised undertakings to be carried out over the next year. In September 2010, Canada’s privacy watchdog ruled Facebook has made enough changes over the past year to bring the social media giant in line with Canadian privacy law.

How can you avoid automatic tagging of unflattering or unwanted photos? Follow the steps or watch the YouTube instructional video below:

1. Head your Privacy Settings and click on Customize Settings.

2. Scroll down to the "Suggest Photos of Me to Friends" setting and hit "Edit Settings".

3. In the drop-down on the right, hit "Disable".

VIDEO – How to stop Facebook from suggesting photo tags to friends:

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-With files from Postmedia News