Facebook continues collecting user data using facial recognition

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. April 19, 2018

Despite user privacy and data issues, Facebook plans to focus in on facial recognition technologies again.
The social network originally launched facial recognition back in 2012. However, it faced the backlash of Irish regulation and promised to not reinstate the technology without seeking approval. At the same time, Facebook said it would delete all data collected at this point.
The fact that the company currently faces a class action lawsuit in the US over the technology hasn’t deterred it either. Instead, Facebook decided to ask its European and Canadian users to scan their faces biometrically.
The technology assigns a uniquely calculated number to each user’s face. The calculation depends on an analysis of the pictures the user is tagged in.
This allows the social network to suggest tags for images that may not have been tagged just yet.
In order to get users to allow the network to scan their faces, Facebook has been focusing on the benefits of the tool to the end user. The consent paragraph says that the technology “help protect you from strangers using your photo, find and show photos you’re in but haven’t been tagged, tell people with visual impairments who’s in a photo or video, and suggest people you may want to tag”.
However, it is not clear if the feature is actually GDPR-compliant. Users may opt out of the feature.