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Facebook Tag Suggestions Prompt More Criticism Over User Privacy

Security experts have criticised Facebook’s new Tag Suggestions feature which was recently launched globally.

The Tag Suggestions feature, which was launched in the US in December 2010, scans photos uploaded by users and automatically recognises their friends, prompting users to tag them.

Facebook users are accustomed to tagging their friends manually in a photograph and the idea of Facebook scanning and recognising what people look like has creeped out a lot of people.

Although Facebook allows users to opt out of the feature, the feature is activated for most users by default.

Sophos security researcher Grahan Cluley pointed out that people were angry about the way the product was made live rather than what the product does. “Once again Facebook seems to be sharing personal information by default,” Cluley said.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the social networking giant apologised for not informing users about the new feature in advance.

“Tag Suggestions are only made to people when they add new photos to the site, and only friends are suggested. If for any reason someone doesn't want their name to be suggested, they can disable the feature in their privacy settings. We should have been more clear with people during the roll-out process when this became available to them,” the spokesperson told BBC News (opens in new tab).