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Posted at 9:49 AM ET, 12/16/2010

Facebook knows what you look like

By Melissa Bell


Facebook has added a facial recognition component that identifies your face in photographs and suggests who to tag in the image. Yes, Facebook knows who you are, even to the extend of knowing what you look like.

Tag Suggestions will be rolling out in the next few weeks. When someone uploads a photograph, the technology will scan the faces and then scan its database of already tagged photos. When it makes a match, it will suggest that face be tagged in the newly uploaded photograph.

The new feature is meant to enhance the photographic experience on Facebook, by taking away the onerous task of finding your friends and marking them in a photograph. It is even meant as a privacy control, Facebook Vice President of Product Chris Cox told CNET. The reasoning goes: The more you're tagged in photographs, the more you'll know what photographs of you are online.

Photographs have definitely become a main focus for Facebook with the newly revamped profile page featuring more options to display tagged photographs. In 2009, 2.5 billion photographs were uploaded every single month to Facebook and that number has likely increased this year.

Does it creep you out that Facebook can tell what you look like? Or does this sound like a good feature to have?

By Melissa Bell  | December 16, 2010; 9:49 AM ET
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As I have heard about this all over the news it make me ponder.... What is this facebook app really supposed to do? and how many other apps are there that do the same? The internet gets scarier every year and this is just another reason why most of my friends don't use websites like facebook and myspace, some of them never have. I tried to find reasons why facebook can be a positive tool but I always seem to relate it with the word "database". The information higway is capturing all of us into its world wide web. Face recognition applications are nothing new. Many website have been doing this with out our knowledge, facebook just made it publicly known. Programs/scripts such as: Rank Deficient Faces, JNI2OpenCV, and Visage have been used on many websites without our knowledge. Where does all of this information go? The Advanced Multimedia Processing Lab in Germany has an application that can do face tracking. How crazy is that. Just pop in a picture and it will scan it and find the person for you. That makes me wonder how many computer hard drives/servers have my picture on it with my information and when I delete an account am I really deleted. Just something to think about and no I'm not one of those Anti-everything people.

Posted by: ynotu | December 16, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Ynotu, I go back and forth on this all the time as well. Putting aside the Orwellian concerns about relinquishing your personal information, if you have nothing to hide would it be a problem for anyone to have this information?

Posted by: Melissa Bell | December 16, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Better be careful when you take a "sick day" to go out.

Anyone taking a photo who uploads it to Facebook may catch you in the background.

Posted by: theducksquack | December 16, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break this just another feature that Facebook has added with no regard for privacy and the ability is just a cover-up for the actual inherent dangers that this software creates for privacy. I hope people realise this and switch to more secure sites such as Diaspora and Mycube over time.

Posted by: johnwilliams1 | December 17, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

i just feel too insecure while using facebook and really feel like facebook is trying to take over my life.i really dont need it to recognize my face in photos, i somehow believe that it will have further reduce my privacy. looked at mycube and waiting for it to launch- it does look more secure

Posted by: clarkwalker | December 19, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

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