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Facial recognition, Facebook now asks for consent

Some Facebook users in Europe have received a message about the possibility of activating its controversial facial recognition technology. The message asks whether to activate the facial recognition technology.

Facial recognition, Facebook now asks for consent: some users of Facebook in Europe received a message about the possibility of activating his controversial facial recognition technology. The message asks whether to activate facial recognition technology or not, a test to adapt to the GDPR.

facebook face recognition

Facebook facial recognition, now Zuckerberg asks for consent

Facebook subsequently reported that the notification suggesting that the face recognition setting was automatically enabled ("the active setting") was sent by mistake, a spokeswoman said.

In Europe, the company hopes to convince users to voluntarily allow the implementation of hostile privacy technology, which it was deactivated en bloc after the regulatory pressure, in 2012, when Facebook started using facial recognition to offer features such as automatic user tags photo uploads.

Facial recognition Facebook consent

Facebook consent to facial recognition for the GDPR

However, in view of imminent changes to its terms and conditions of use – apparently in accordance with the GDPR data protection standard entering the EU the company created a flow of consensus that tries to easily convince users to give access to their data, including facial recognition, by convincing Europeans to accept the terms for the use of biometric data.

Users who choose not to activate face recognition still need to click on a "continue" screen before moving to the next. On this screen, Facebook tries to convince them to turn on the recognition, showing examples of how technology can "protect" them.

According to the journalist Jennifer Baker, what Facebook is doing incredibly mischievous, because it uses fear to try to manipulate people's choices.

As part of the EU's short-term data protection system, Facebook cannot automatically enable face recognition, but must convince people to opt for such technology.

Possible legal issues on facial recognition Facebook

However, many experts questioned do not believe that the approach to Facebook's consent is legal under the GDPR. Essentially, this is a great manipulation based on human decision-making data – until the "right" answer (for Facebook activities) is "selected" by the user. In other words, not given freely, informed consent to all.

At this point the legal challenges are certain.

Facial recognition Facebook and GDPR

A Facebook spokeswoman said that all European users who have been informed about this technology now, before the May 25 deadline GDPR, ftopart of its launch of platform changes to comply with the legal standard soon in force.

"The flow (of consents) is not a test, it is part of an implementation that we are implementing right now across the EU," he said. "We are asking people for opt-in consent for three things: third-party advertising data, face recognition and authorization to process their sensitive data. "

He also confirmed that Facebook ran a "very similar version of this stream with a small percentage of users in the EU in March", adding that "the flow of words used was essentially the same. At any time he was in opt-in mode. "

The problem that, given that Facebook controls the entire flow of consensus and can count on large information gathered from its platform (more than two billion users), this is not even remotely a fair fight. Acceptance manipulated not real consent.

But legal challenges take time and in the meantime Facebook users have been subjected to social engineering, with selective examples, to agree with the things that align with the company's data collection interests: deliver sensitive personal data without understanding the full implications of doing so.

Request for Facebook face recognition

Not exactly clear how many Facebook users were part of the previous consensus test. It is likely that the company used the aforementioned changes in the flow formulation and the words used to determine, through an A / B test process, which screens and words related to consent had the most success in convincing people to accept a highly technology hostile to privacy.

Last month, when Facebook said it would be released "a limited test of some of the additional choices we will ask people to make as part of the GDPR," he also said it would start "by asking only a small percentage of people to do so being able to be sure that everything is working properly ?.

Interestingly, he didn't mention a number about how many people were involved in that test.

Probably the company hoped that the test would not attract too much attention, given the importance of this information on the GDPR.

Depending on the success of those tests to convince Europeans to let them use their facial biometric data, millions of other Facebook users could soon provide the company with new sensitive data streams and find their fundamental rights trampled once again, thanks to a very manipulative flow of consensus.