Connecticut AG wants meeting over Facebook facial recognition

With the public outcry over Facebook's facial recognition feature growing ever louder, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen is now requesting a meeting with the social networking site. In a letter sent to Facebook, he says the company's failure to provide an opt-in "overlooked a critical component of consumer privacy protection."

Jepsen is not the first time the government has gotten involved with Facebook's new tagging option. The Electronic Privacy Information Center earlier this week filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission accusing the social networking site of running afoul of the same regulations Jepsen is.

(View the full letter to Facebook by clicking here.)

"There is a substantial new pool of information being added to the vast amount of information Facebook already possesses about its users," Jepsen writes. "The potential uses of facial recognition on this scale remain unclear but concerning."

He said that there might be simple ways to address these concerns. Jepsen suggests an opt-in process, as well as notifications to the user when a photo of him or her was tagged by a friend using the facial recognition feature.

A meeting has been requested "as soon as possible."

Essentially the facial recognition software aims to automate a portion of the tagging process. Faces in pictures are scanned, and the software attempts to match the face based on previously tagged photos of that person.

Its reliability has been questioned however, with the software often unable to suggest the correct tag, say those who have tested out the feature. Nevertheless, the fact that Facebook is attempting to do so is viewed as a breach of privacy by some.

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