Facebook suggests user facial tagging without consent

Occurred: September 2019

Facebook said it will end its use of facial recognition technology to identify users' contacts by automatically suggesting they are 'tagged'. The practice was seen to be intrusive and potentially illegal.

Facebook said it would replace its 'Tag Suggestions' feature with its general facial recognition system, which will be turned off by default and is used for a variety of purposes, including the identification of new users.

The technology company had been under pressure to end its tagging system for some time, having been sued in 2015 under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, which requires that consent be obtained before gathering users' biometric data. 

Facebook began using facial recognition technology in 2010 for its photo-tagging tool. In July 2020, it agreed to settle the case by paying USD 650 million, with the judge concluding that the practice 'invades an individual’s private affairs and concrete interests.' 

System 🤖

Documents 📃

Operator: Meta/Facebook
Developer: Meta/Facebook
Country: USA
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Identify user contacts
Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Privacy
Transparency: Governance; Black box; Marketing

Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: March 2023