Facebook is using ‘dishonest and manipulative’ tactics to get EU users to agree to facial recognition, critics say (FB)

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

Facebook is asking some users in Europe to consent to the use of facial recognition technology.
But the social network has been accused by privacy experts by asking for permission in a “fundamentally dishonest and manipulative way.”
The request comes ahead of sweeping new privacy regulation in the EU.

Facebook is being criticised by privacy activists for how it’s allegedly manipulating some of its Eureopean users to consent to its use of facial recognition in photos and videos. It’s a hot-button issue, as sweeping new EU privacy legislation requires Facebook and other tech companies to get explicit permission for using the technology.

Facebook’s facial recognition technology, which it uses to recognise users in photos and identify impersonators, has not been available in the EU since 2012 after being accused of violating privacy laws for not obtaining users’ consent. The company has now started asking some users to explicitly give permission to use it, but the tech — and the way Facebook is asking for permission — is raising some objections.

Jennifer Cobbe, a tech law researcher at the University of Cambridge, shared screenshots of the prompts on her Twitter page. The social network isn’t presenting the choice as a simple yes-no option: Instead, users are presented with a list of the purported benefits of facial recognition tech, then asked if they want to “Accept and Continue,” or click a greyed-out box obliquely called: “Manage Data Settings.”

Facebook is now explicitly asking European users for consent to facial recognition pic.twitter.com/YErXPGjFPE

— Jennifer Cobbe (@jennifercobbe) April 16, 2018

This is the screen where they ask for consent. No clear option for ‘no’

cc @darkpatterns pic.twitter.com/GDlsCImyZj

— Jennifer Cobbe (@jennifercobbe) April 16, 2018

If users click “Manage Data Settings,” they’re shown an additional prompt given more detail about the tech’s benefits, mainly stopping impersonators and helping blind people to understand what’s depicted in photos. Only when they click “Continue” on that are they given a binary option: “Allow Facebook to recognise me in photos or videos” or “Don’t allow Facebook to recognise me in photos and videos.”

Clicking “manage data settings” brings you here

Going hard on user experience is expected. Promoting facial recognition as an accessibility features for other people is an interesting move

Still haven’t managed to get opt-out. Just Facebook having another go at changing my mind pic.twitter.com/PjrUhokpFJ

— Jennifer Cobbe (@jennifercobbe) April 16, 2018

Finally, the page where I can actually opt-out. Again, framed as all being about user experience pic.twitter.com/ZmoZjfaPtu

— Jennifer Cobbe (@jennifercobbe) April 16, 2018

They say this, but they will. We know they will because they scan everyone’s face, and justify it by saying that they have to in order to be able to pick out people who do want facial recognition

This, of course, isn’t GDPR compliant. But why would that bother them? pic.twitter.com/xlwSXEae1G

— Jennifer Cobbe (@jennifercobbe) April 16, 2018

Privacy consultant Pat Walshe criticised Facebook’s approach as “the manipulation of choice,” while Bloomberg reporter Sarah …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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