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Facebook privacy update lets the social network analyze your profile picture

Facebook privacy update lets the social network analyze your profile picture

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Facebook has just announced the latest round of proposed changes to its data use policy and statement of rights and responsibilities — two legal documents that explain how the company can use the data it collects from its users. As usual, there are a few things worth noting in the updated policies, including some new details on how Facebook will use your profile photos. According to the proposed policies, Facebook will be able to analyze your profile photo and use it to suggest "tags" of you in other photographs.

It's a change from the current implementation, in which Facebook's tagging suggestions only can use other photographs in which you're already tagged — now, it'll proactively be analyzing your profile picture to help make better suggestions. It's not a surprising addition, as Facebook has been interested in facial-recognition technology for some time, but we imagine there will be a subset of users who'll turn this "feature" off immediately.

There's also a new section in which Facebook says it'll "further explain" how the company uses your personal data in conjunction with advertisements, and that its new openness is the result of a "legal settlement." In all likelihood, Facebook is referring to Monday's $20 million class action settlement relating to how the company used personal data alongside its Sponsored Stories. Facebook already needs to get explicit consent to put user data alongside its ads, and it seems like the company is going to do a better job at explaining how it may use your data alongside ads as well.

As usual, Facebook is giving users seven days to submit any feedback they have regarding the changes before they go into effect, which means these new policies should be set to go into effect by the end of next week. Of course, Facebook can freely make changes to its policies and ignore user feedback. The company used to ask users to vote on proposed changes, but Facebook did away with the practice at the end of last year.