Facebook conjures up a trap for the unwary: scanning your camera for your friends

Auto-spam your friends with Photo Magic

Facebook has decided it doesn't pester its users enough, so it's going to use its facial recognition technology as the basis of a new nag-screen.

The ad network is testing a feature in its Android app that will scan a user's recent images for photos that look like their friends. If it spots a match, it'll ask if the photos should be shared with other people in them.

The feature is being tested on Australian users first, with iOS to arrive by the end of the week, and if they don't grab pitchforks and torches, The Social NetworkTM threatens promises to take it to the US soon.

The pic-scanning isn't restricted to photos you've already uploaded to Facebook – the app scans your phone's photo collection for new images, and will raise a dialogue asking if you want to post it to your friends.

There will be an opt-out, just in case you don't want a careless selfie in flagrante delicto with a partner's friend turning up on your feed because the evening involved a lot of booze and not much good sense, and Facebook users who can navigate the baroque maze of its privacy settings can already opt out of having their faces detected in other users' photos.

Facebook's just had notice from Belgium that its intrusive use of cookies will cost it €250,000 a day if it doesn't quit tracking non-users within 48 hours.

Vulture South will also be keen to hear from Australian users about whether the feature, called Photo Magic, turns the Facebook app into even more of a battery-killer. ®

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