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Facebook under fire once again, Senator challenges site for facial recognition


Facebook has been in and out of the news for its privacy issues, as many users are becoming more aware of the vast amount of information the site stores and that the company may not be taking the necessary steps to protect its users. According to PC World, the latest issue is facial recognition, and how Facebook automatically opts the users in for tag suggestions facial recognition feature.

Senator Al Franken, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law recently challenged Facebook and asked that they put the recognition feature as something users have to opt in for the default. Also, he argued that it took six clicks from the first page to reach facial recognition options, according to the news source.

“We think that’s the appropriate choice because Facebook itself is an opt-in experience,” Sherman told the news source when asked about the opt-out default for tag suggestions. “People choose to be on Facebook because they want to share with each other.”

Franken also wants the site to be more informative about the facial recognition software and how it is used on the site, the media outlet reports. The tag suggestions feature is currently not working, but the senator is asking for more to be fixed before it is up and running again.

The other issue is for kids under the age of 13 and if they should exclude the facial recognition feature by default. Facebook is currently deciding if they should allow children under 13 onto the site, but they did not address what they would do in this instance. Currently, teens between 13 and 17 have to opt in for tag suggestions, according to the news outlet.

“It’s something certainly that we would consider actively, but until we make a decision about changing our policy I think it’s premature to say exactly how we would implement it,” Sherman told the media outlet.

According to Forbes Magazine, many are worried about where facial recognition could go, and if it will be taken too far. For instance, some are wondering if facial recognition technology would be used as a computer monitoring software to track down individuals for everyone between law enforcement to criminals or stalkers.