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Facebook Buys Face.Com

(FILES) In this photograph taken on May 15, 2012 the ‘Facebook’ logo is reflected in a young Indian woman’s sunglasses as she browses on a tablet in Bangalore. An Indian court on June 6, 2012 asked Facebook, Google and other Internet firms to respond to a private petition over allegations of being a threat to national security and withholding tax. AFP PHOTO/Manjunath KIRAN/FILES (Photo credit should read Manjunath Kiran/AFP/GettyImages)
Photo by Manjunath Kiran/AFP/GettyImages

Adding a little more Big Brother to their massive data collection strategy, Facebook has purchased face recognition software firm Face.com.

The 11-person Israeli firm, started in 2009, provides software that recognizes faces in newly added photos, and suggests names of the people in the photos for easy one-click tagging.

The purchase price was not made public but was estimated at around $60 million. While Facebook representatives said the software only allows users to identify people they were already friends with, privacy advocates raised concerns, saying that the tech giant could be building the largest face recognition database in the world.

“With great power comes great responsibility,” Emma Draper of Privacy International told the BBC. “We would hope to see very strict safeguards on how this information is stored and who has access to it, particularly if—as seems increasingly likely—Facebook is going to start making money from it.”