You're uploading pictures on Facebook and a tagging recommendation pops up on your friend's face. You tag them in the picture and they immediately get notified that you've uploaded a picture of them.
This fun feature is another great way to share photos with your friends. But could it be illegal?
A San Francisco federal judge recently rejected Facebook's request to toss out a lawsuit regarding its popular photo-tagging feature. According to U.S. District Judge James Donato, the facial recognition technology in the feature invades users' privacy and directly breaks the Illinois law that bans collecting and storing biometric data without consent.
Facebook's photo-tagging tool has been around since 2010. It came after the 2008 Illinois law that requires companies to get consent from consumers before collecting data through tools like "faceprints." Google, which uses similar technology, was hit with a similar lawsuit in March.
Though plaintiffs say Facebook never got permission to use this tool, the company isn't backing down easily. The social networking giant argues that since photo-tagging is disclosed in its terms and services and users have the option to opt out, it is completely legal.
Facebook believes its facial recognition tool improves users' experience. Privacy advocates say it should only be used with explicit consent. What do you think? Should Facebook photo-tagging be banned, or is it a feature that you love and enjoy? Share your thoughts in the comments.