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This blog covers the culture of, on and around the Web. We consider ourselves curators of the moments when pop culture intersects with virtual trends.

June 8, 2011 at 12:46 PM

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Facebook's photo tagging feature allows for auto-detection of faces

Posted by Tiffany Campbell

Facebook has rolled out a photo tagging system that lets users automatically tag friends. From Seattletimes.com social media producer Sona Patel:


The new feature, which Facebook calls Tag Suggestions, uses face recognition software to match new photos to other photos you're tagged in, according to The Facebook Blog.

The feature also allows so-called group tagging, which allows a user to type one name and apply it to multiple photos of the same person. Facebook says the new feature makes tagging multiple photos more convenient, but many Facebook users say the new feature, which is now available in most countries, has caused some controversy over potential privacy issues.

The Washington Post asked readers to chime in on Twitter about what they think of the new feature. Most of those who responded said they were bothered by the new feature.

Most people replying to our #FacialBook question say they're creeped out by new #Facebook feature. http://wapo.st/iASwm4less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

According to a Bloomberg story on privacy concerns surrounding Tag Suggestions, Facebook will be probed by European-Union data-protection regulators over the new feature.

Part of the EU's argument over Facebook's feature is that tagging of people in pictures should happen on prior consent from the user and not by default.

Users can opt out of Tag Suggestions by changing their privacy settings and disabling "Suggest photos of me to friends" feature. University of Washington professor Kathy E. Gill wrote a blog post on how to disable Tag Suggestions.

What do you think about Facebook's new photo tagging feature? Should the feature be enabled by default?

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