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Facebook has begun seeking the explicit consent of European and Canadian users to allow it to continue using facial recognition technology to identify them in photos and videos, after the program was halted amidst privacy concerns.

The opt-in permission request is one of a number of data policy changes to be overseen by Facebook as it scrabbles to get its house in order ahead of the roll out of General Data Protection Regulation.

Moves to resurrect the system haven’t gone unnoticed with Silkie Carlo, director of UK civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, telling the BBC: "Biometric identification and tracking across the billions of photos on the platform exacerbates serious privacy risks to users.

"Facebook now has a duty to prove it has learned how to respect the law, not to prove it can take its surveillance capabilities to new depths."

The request comes at a difficult time for the network which remains embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal which saw the personal data of members allegedly passed on to the political consultancy without their consent.