Facebook works with Jepsen to minimize imposters online

Attorney General George Jepsen credited Facebook Tuesday with making it easier for users of its social media website to report imposter profiles.

Last month, Jepsen expressed concern that consumer privacy was being compromised by Facebook’s “Tag Suggestions” feature — which uses facial recognition software to make photo-tagging easier for its users — because users were not given adequate notice of the feature or the ability and instructions to disable it easily.

Facebook now offers instructions to users who wish to opt out of its new “Tag Suggestions” feature, Jepsen said. The company worked with attorneys in Jepsen’s office to address the privacy concerns and other issues Jepsen raised.

And Jepsen had raised the issues concerning impersonation in February as well, after Rep. Kim Rose, D-Milford, complained about the difficulty she had trying to contact Facebook and get it to shut down an imposter profile of her that was fraudulently soliciting money. 

“Facebook has made significant changes that will provide better service and greater privacy protection to its users, not only in Connecticut, but across the country,” Jepsen said. “The company has been cooperative and diligent in its response and I look forward to working with them in the future to make sure Facebook users’ privacy is protected, which I believe is our shared goal.”

The company has developed on-line Tag Suggest ads, which link users to their privacy settings and allow them to opt out if they choose.  One round of ads ran earlier this month, resulting in more than 400 million Facebook impressions on U.S. Facebook users’ home pages. 

The second round, which began Tuesday, will cycle on those home pages for the next two weeks.  The company anticipates that every Facebook user in the U.S. will see the new ad at least twice during this period.

“For any users who opt out, any facial recognition data collected will be deleted,” Jepsen said.

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