Facebook’s Biometric Facial Recognition Feature Comes Under Fire

June 13, 2012 - 

Facebook’s facial recognition feature has come under fire from Irish regulators and now Germany as well. However, the German privacy regulator has suspended their probe while awaiting the outcome of the Irish audit. The probes come after issues on how Facebook Inc. handles the personal data of their users came to light.

Facebook recently implemented a facial recognition feature which automatically suggests which people to tag in a photo. Issues started to arise when the social networking site launched the feature without first informing its users or at the very least ask for their consent. The site is currently overhauling the service it renders and along with it comes a few changes or additions in the interface.

The probe was temporarily halted after the Hamburg data protection agency was informed by Facebook that it has started negotiations with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s Office. The social networking site is revising the way it implements the facial recognition feature which will allow users to have more control on how their personal data is handled.

Hamburg intends to resume its probe into the site if it does not hold up to the revisions it promised. Initially, the probe came as a result of the recommendation made by the Irish investigation which the German regulator deemed as unclear. The privacy regulator can enforce its own data protection rules in order to shield their German users.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.