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Facebook in Europe switches off facial recognition after privacy investigation

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posted on Sep, 22 2012 @ 01:14 AM
Facebook in Europe has agreed to stop using facial recognition software which automatically identifies people in photographs following an investigation by EU/Irish privacy regulators.

Controversially, the facial recognition software had previously been turned on as a default with users needing to opt out.

Facebook’s introduction of facial recognition software, which it uses to encourage members to “tag” their friends in photographs, ensuring they are shared more widely, has long been controversial.

It was turned on by default last year, meaning members had to opt out if they did not want to be part of the system.

The Telegraph

The EU commissioner who led the investigation stressed that Facebook had agreed to comply with Irish and EU privacy laws, however Facebook could be fined if it fails to do so.

Deputy Commissioner Gary Davis, who led the initial audit and review, warned the office would use enforcement powers if needed, however. Facebook could be fined up to £80,000 if it does not comply with the latest orders of Irish regulators within four weeks.

The Telegraph

The ruling by the EU commissioner was welcomed by the Austrian 'Europe-versus-Facebook' campaign group who have been fighting against Facebook's use of facial recognition software.

Europe-versus-Facebook, an Austrian campaign group that has been fighting for clearer privacy policies on Facebook and already took its complaints to the DPC last year, welcomed the ruling.

This was "a very surprising decision of the Irish authority" and it "sounds like a big victory for users," the group said on its website.

This ruling is interesting because it is thought, by many, that Facebook is 'in bed' with the CIA who presumably use Facebook data for its own purposes.

I'm surprised that the EU commissioner responsible wasn't visited by a man in a black suit who made him an offer he couldn't refuse?

edit on 22-9-2012 by ollncasino because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 22 2012 @ 01:35 AM
Members can't even opt out of a simple membership. Now they believe they can opt out of the FR software? I call BS.

How is anyone going to confirm that it has indeed stopped using the software as FB is interconnected World wide?

I might be wrong in this but to me it seems that this is just a PR statement to appease the many who don't understand how far reaching and intrusive FB really is.


posted on Sep, 22 2012 @ 02:12 AM
i guess all the people who never signed on to facebook are the ones laughing now.

but still if you have family that has an account, people can still find you thru them.

so basically everyone is screwed.

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