Facebook has been accused of a massive ‘data grab’ after encouraging users to allow it to automatically synchronise photos from their mobile devices to the social networks servers.
The social network from Friday began asking users of its mobile apps to activate its new Photo Sync, which will automatically upload each picture to a private album.
Whether or not users decide share the photos on their public newsfeed, Facebook itself will still have access.
That means it will be able to mine those files for their metadata, including the location where the photo was taken, as well as use its facial recognition technology to spot those pictured.
Photo Sync: The new function being promoted to users of Facebook’s mobile apps will automatically upload pictures taken from mobile devices to the company’s servers – where they can be mined for data
As a result, over time, Facebook will be able to build up a comprehensive database of where users have been, and with whom, from information they automatically give to the company.
Emma Carr, deputy director of civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘This provides a stark warning about the loss of control experienced once you have installed an application to your mobile phone.