+1 or -1 for Google’s ‘Find My Face’ feature?

By Anne Collier

More +1 than not but pretty neutral from a parent’s perspective. I say that because, if kids are welcomed to Google’s new social network service, Google+, they – like everybody else – will have the option to choose whether they want to allow their friends (people in their “Circles”) to tag them in photos – the just-announced “Find My Face” feature is opt-in, not provided automatically. People can also later change their mind and opt back out. Another reason why it’s more +1 or positive is because it’s just a convenience tool for the fun photo-sharing aspect of socializing online. Now, if you feel that encourages excessive photo-sharing for someone you love, that’s a negative – and signals the need for a frank but non-confrontational conversation about that, ideally more along the lines of “tell me why you love doing that so much” than “you shouldn’t do that” because it’s so important to understand what’s compelling about social media for our kids and why, in order to keep communication lines open. The way this particular feature works is, “if you upload dozens of photos from a party the night before, the facial-recognition technology will look through those photos and suggest people to tag; anyone who is tagged will receive an email notification, with the option to untag themselves,” PC Magazine reports. If this sounds a whole lot like a feature in Facebook, it is – see my post when it launched last June and my followup post on how to disable it if concerned. Here’s further coverage of “Find My Face” from my ConnectSafely.org co-director Larry Magid at Forbes.com.

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* “The new media monsters we’ve created for our kids”
* “Major study on youth & media: Let’s take a closer look”
* “Parenting in the digital age: Research insights”

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