Facebook to Stop Scanning Faces by Default

Facebook has announced it will take new steps to promote its facial recognition privacy settings to users, and that it will stop scanning user faces by default.

A post in Facebook’s Newsroom says the brand has always given users control over whether or not their biometric data is collected but, starting this week, it will do more to inform people about how this is used.

It reads: “We’ve continued to engage with privacy experts, academics, regulators and people on Facebook about how we use face recognition and the options you have to control it.

“(…) Facebook’s face recognition technology still does not recognize you to strangers. We don’t share your face recognition information with third parties. We also don’t sell our technology.”

Face scanning, which helps to suggest friends to tag in newly uploaded photographs, may be illegal under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act. 

If Facebook loses an ongoing lawsuit there relating to the practice, it may have to pay compensation to over 7 million US users. Engadget reports that violations could cost the company up to $5,000 each, resulting in billions of dollars in fines.

Last month, Facebook also began introducing ways for users to opt out of its off-site tracking technology. 

The privacy option, which has been rolled out in Ireland, South Korea and Spain so far, still sees some browsing information retained for 48 hours.

Read more here.