Facebook Addresses Connecticut's Photo-Tag Concerns

Responding to Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen's issues with privacy concerns in general and photo tagging in particular, Facebook is running online ads instructing users on how to opt out of the feature.

Responding to Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen’s issues with privacy concerns in general and photo tagging in particular, Facebook is running online ads instructing users on how to opt out of the feature.

Bloomberg reported that the social network also took steps to ease the process of reporting impostor profiles.

Facebook launched its photo-tagging feature in December. Connecticut State Representative Kim Rose told Bloomberg in February that a fake Facebook page had been created in her name, with the page owner then asking her friends for money; at the time, the news service quoted Jepsen saying:

The lack of an opt-in process for Facebook users is troubling because unknowing consumers may have their photos tagged and matched using facial-recognition software without their express consent, potentially exposing them to unwelcome attention and loss of privacy.

Bloomberg added that a second fake Rose profile was discovered and deleted within one hour.

Facebook spokesman Tim Sparapani said in an email to Bloomberg:

People across the country using Facebook will be more aware of our personalized privacy settings and how they can be used to benefit their experience on the site. The attorney general has been an effective partner on this project.

And Jepsen told Bloomberg, “For any users who opt out, any facial-recognition data collected will be deleted,” adding that the new language and links added to Facebook’s contact form will make it easier to report false profiles, and that the social network will not allow accounts reported as fake to be reactivated without confirmation via telephone or other methods.

Readers: Did Facebook do enough to address the Connecticut attorney general’s concerns?