Germany is Re-Investigating Facebook's Facial-Recognition Feature
Aug 16, 2012 11:48
German data privacy officials in Germany have reopened a probe to further scrutinize Facebook's face recognition technology to see if the social network giant was collecting members' pictures without them knowing.
An investigation into Facebook's database of pictures in June was led by data protection commissioner Johannes Casper in Hamburg. The investigation was suspended after he said he would give Facebook time to update its policies. But following several attempts and no updates, The New York Times reports that Casper is now reopening the investigation. He believes Facebook has been illegally collecting face-recognition data about its members to populate its photo tag suggest feature.
“We believe that the photo tag suggest feature on Facebook is fully compliant with EU data protection laws,” a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable. “During our continuous dialogue with our supervisory authority in Europe, the Office of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, we agreed to develop a best practice solution to notify people on Facebook about photo tag suggest.”
Just what is Facebook's facial-recognition? It's where Facebook can sense who is in your pictures and make tagging suggestions. Rather than having it as an option, every user has the feature whether or not they want it.
This facial-recognition feature comes after Facebook's acquisition of the facial-recognition software company Face.com. While Facebook hasn't said anything about its future plans for Face.com or its technology, some users are concerned that the expansion of this kind of tech on social networks would intrude on their privacy rights.