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Privacy Advocates File Objection To Facial Recognition On Facebook

A group of privacy advocates has filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission, urging the regulator to ban Facebook’s new face recognition service.

Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse have asked the FTC to review the new Facebook feature and subsequently prevent the company from rolling it out as it breaches user privacy.

The complaint to the FTC, which was backed by US Senator Ed Markey from Massachusetts, urges the FTC to prevent Facebook from implementing the feature without the consent of its users.

"When it comes to users' privacy, Facebook's policy should be: 'Ask for permission, don't assume it. Rather than facial recognition, there should be a Facebook recognition that changing privacy settings without permission is wrong. I encourage the FTC to probe this issue and will continue to closely monitor this issue." Markey said in a statement, Computer World (opens in new tab) reports.

Facebook already faces inquiries from the European Union’s data protection watchdog while privacy regulators in the UK and Ireland are also planning to launch their own investigations into the matter.

The new Facebook features scans and recognises the faces of Facebook users in uploaded photos and recommends them to their friends for tagging.