The changing faces of data privacy

You may have noticed over the last week that Facebook asked you to update your personal settings. If you haven’t, let me explain why.

By Alison Gardner, account executive at Stone Junction

Last week, Facebook announced it is relaunching its facial recognition feature in Europe. Facebook originally introduced the technology to its site to several years ago. However, it agreed to stop using the technology in 2012, as it did not ask for users’ permission and came under regulatory pressure.

Now, Facebook wants to bring facial recognition back, to help us protect our online identities. The feature will let us know if anyone uses our photo pretending it is their own and will alert you if your friend has uploaded any embarrassing pictures.

Pictures and privacy

Facebook is asking you to review your personal settings ahead of the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will come in to force on May 25, 2018. Part of the review includes asking users to opt in to the new facial recognition service.

Facebook has been criticised for how it has offered this new feature to users. Critics said the platform made it very easy to opt in by pressing one button, but opting out is more difficult as you have to click through multiple settings menus.

What should you do differently?

As we get closer to the GDPR deadline, you should make sure that anyone your business is aware of the personal data it is holding. If, like Facebook, you’re planning on using the data for any new features, give your customers a clear opt in and opt out, as well as clarification on what data you have and why.

GDPR compliance does not have to be difficult for you and your business. For advice on how to review your services ahead of the new regulation, e-mail me at or call 01785 225 416.


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