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Facebook's New Facial Recognition Algorithm Draws Attention From Privacy Experts

By social media editor Melony Roy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Facebook is getting really good at recognizing people in pictures and tagging them.  And the social networking behemoth says it will soon be able to ID you in any photo.

According to Science magazine, Facebook's facial-recognition technology, dubbed "DeepFace," is now "as accurate as a human being at a few constrained facial recognition tasks."

Rob D'Ovidio, a cyber security expert at Drexel University, says this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"Certainly this tool can aid is privacy, and it can alert people who might not have otherwise known their picture was out there," he notes.

If Facebook detects that a friend has shared a picture that includes you in their timeline, you'll receive an e-mail to let you know.

"Knowing now that Facebook is using this type of technology, (we suggest) that consumers go in and make this a regular practice," D'Ovidio advises, adding, "Go in and check your privacy settings."

Facebook claims its intention is not to invade the privacy of the network's more than 1.3 billion active users, but rather to protect it.  Technically, you can turn off facial tagging in your Facebook settings, but the program doesn't make that particularly easy.


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