Gotta Watch: Facebook privacy concerns
Facebook is unveiling a new facial recognition feature.
June 8th, 2011
12:58 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Facebook privacy concerns

Facebook has announced that it will begin scanning all users' pictures with facial recognition software, allowing the site to automatically recognize users' faces and identify them in photos. This service, like many of Facebook's previous changes, is automatically active for all users, so the only way to avoid it is to opt out. Thing is, it has the potential to make your face appear tagged in photos that you may not want to be associated with. This isn't the first time Facebook has been under fire for privacy issues. In today's Gotta Watch, we look back at some of Facebook’s past privacy snafus.

Mark Zuckerberg reacts to privacy concerns – Last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to a backlash from users after a change in privacy settings made user information public by default. After users complained about their information being distributed to third parties and developers, Zuckerberg implemented changes and simplified privacy settings.

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Do you 'like' Facebook's features? – In 2010, Facebook implemented the then-controversial, now-ubiquitous, "Like" feature on various websites. The "Like" button, now replaced by a "Recommend" button (see it up there on the left hand corner of the screen), raised concerns over privacy issues and outraged many users over whether Facebook should be able to share their information with other websites. Like other Facebook features, it involved a complicated "opt out" process.

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Facebook wants your digits – Earlier this year, Facebook requested users' mobile phone numbers. But why would Facebook need your number? Is it is safe to provide that info to app developers, games and other third-parties?'s John Sutter takes a look.

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Facebook's growing influence – At more than half a billion users, Facebook has created a place for itself at the top of the social media heirarchy.  The company is changing the way information is shared, and at the same time changing our expectations of privacy online. So that begs the question, does it even matter if they violate our privacy, or will we just come back to them no matter how much we feel violated?

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Filed under: Facebook • Gotta Watch • Technology • Uncategorized
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. the Laughing Prospector

    Ain't never put my face in no book. Ha ha ha...burp... ha ha ha...burp... ha ha ha...burp...

    June 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Aaron

    Anyone who voluntarily puts their actual personal information onto a web site that they don't have complete control over is crazy.

    June 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • David L.

      Agreed, to a certain degree. There is nothing on my Facebook page that I wouldn't mind my grandmother, friends, boss, or even the CIA knowing about me, so I have no issue with things like this. If you want to sell to some company my information, like that I like the movie Children of Men, and I listen to Jimmy Eat World, go ahead. The people out there who stand to have problems from stuff like this are people who put too much information out there.

      June 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. €Engleberthumperdink¥£

    Yes, crazy and stupid.

    June 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. assviolater


    June 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. duh

    Zuckerberg will sell your information to the highest bidder. He will do whatever he can to make money.. His name begins with Z so I already don't trust him... You think he cares about your privacy? Hah

    June 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. €Engleberthumperdink¥£

    @ACP: And then?

    June 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. €Engleberthumperdink¥£

    @JJ & Ellis(same d*ck head) Get a job u bum. Worthless MFing troll.

    June 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ashley

    This article is SO misleading. All it does is when a user loads photos, it suggests a group of photos it thinks are the same person and has a suggestion for who it is, or you can type in who it is. It's just a faster way for people to tag their own photos, which they would have done anyway, just one photo at a time. It doesn't just take any photo anyone uploads and tags it automatically. The uploader still has to select to tag them. This has nothing to do with a privacy change, this is just a tool to make it easier for people already tagging their friends.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Don't expect people to actually think things through and do research. It's a fad to be anti-Facebook.

      June 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bill

    Lets see, a roadsign, a tree, a crowd, an advertizing banner, a horse, , , i was ask to indentify these as my friends recently


    FAILBOOK, lights are on but no one is home

    June 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Don't have to take my word for it, go to facebook security page, discusions and see for yourself

      June 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lila

    A company doesn't spend this much money and time creating products to make anything easier for users on a free site. lol. Facebook is a business and NOTHING is free. Everything has a financial angle.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Leigh Binder

    Zuckerberg will do what's in his best interest regardless of who get hurt or how people feel about it.
    The good thing is, you have a choice; play or split....If you get burned, it was your choice to leave yourself open, simple as that..

    June 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Aaron

    The guy is just trying to improve his product that we do not pay for. If our information causes an advertisement on the side that's okay. That is how we get this service free. As long as there is a way to turn off these features, even if difficult, we are okay. If you like facebook and don't like a feature, just turn it off. Or don't be on facebook. Good for Mark for not resting on his laurels and continuing to try to improve his product.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Abstract many people here don't think "Big Brother" doesn't have all the information he already wants about you have a credit card, ever completed a W-2, do you have a bank account, do you shop at amazon, do you have a flickr account, do you have a gmail/yahoo account...

    Its can not hid from "Big Brother" even if you wanted to!

    June 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nunya


      Still plenty of ways to hide. Most of the time to acquire that info Big Brother needs a warrant. With Facebook, they just have to pay Zucks enough money and he will let them see anything they want and you can do nothing about it.

      June 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nunya

    Anyone who uses Facebook is stupid. I do not care what your pathetic justification is, you are still stupid and therefore deserve everything bad thing they do to you.

    June 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lila

    The issue isn't about the dumb user who uses the product, it's their unfortunate friends and family who get tagged. If it doesn't recognize a face it will ask who the person is and keep the face and name together stored without that person's permission. So don't be a crappy friend or family member and violate everyone's privacy!

    June 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
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