Facebook under scrutiny by FTC over user tracking allegations

Online human catalogue Facebook has found itself once again under scrutiny over user privacy concerns.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (abrev. EPIC) and a number of United States privacy groups have filed a complaint requesting that the popular Facebook site be probed by the Federal Trade Commission, alleging that the social network ‘tracks’ it’s users and illegitimately obtains information – particularly in the recent addition of facial recognition or ‘auto-tagging’ on over 60 billion photos hosted on the social web.


The document submitted to the FTC by EPIC is a lengthy one, weighing in at 34 pages, and addresses the unauthorized tagging as well as the difficulty to delete a tag in a photo which is quite often not owned or uploaded by the person tagged.

An excerpt of the complaint reads: “Given these extraordinary circumstances, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, The Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog, and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, urge the Commission to investigate Facebook, determine the extent of the harm to consumer privacy and safety, require Facebook to cease collection and use of users’ biometric data without their affirmative opt-in consent, require Facebook to give users meaningful control over their personal information, establish appropriate security safeguards, limit the disclosure of user information to third parties, and seek appropriate injunctive and compensatory relief.”

EPIC, ACLU and other parties seek to get the Facebook facial recognition and auto-tagging suspended and address better privacy policies.

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