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Now Facebook plans to use profile pics to assist auto-tag suggestions

Facebook plans to use profile pics to assist auto-tag suggestions
Facial recognition debate rears its head again

Facebook has revealed a plan to use members' profile pictures as a means of identifying them across the site - enabling the company to improve its suggestions for photo tags to other users.

The scheme, announced as the most noteworthy of Facebook's latest proposed changes to its governing documents, would once again see the company expand its facial recognition tech.

In the United States, but not in Europe (where it is banned), the company scans photos users have already been tagged in to help make automatic suggestions when new photos are uploaded.

If the new scheme is passed, the company would also be able to scan the user's profile picture in order to enhance that often controversial process.

Piecing you together

The new wording of the privacy document reads: "We are able to suggest that your friend tag you in a picture by scanning and comparing your friend's pictures to information we've put together from your profile pictures and the other photos in which you've been tagged."

In regions where the facial recognition tech is permitted, users are already able to turn off the auto tagging suggestions, which in turn deletes the template of the user's likeness, the site has built up.

Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said the improving facial recognition tech will assist users rather than hinder them.

"Now we are making it clear that moving forward we also want to use your profile photos as an additional input into the technology to better recognise you. The benefit in being tagged is that you know photos exist," she said.

The proposed changes to the governing documents can be read in full at Users can have their say before any go into effect.