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Under pressure, Facebook disables facial recognition in Europe

 
smilesun
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User ID: 24273360
Italy
09/23/2012 01:06 PM

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Under pressure, Facebook disables facial recognition in Europe
Facebook is dropping its controversial facial recognition feature, for European users at least, following a privacy backlash from users and regulators.

But it may not be long before it returns..

The social networking giant has agreed to suspend facial recognition in Europe, following demands by the European Union on the social network to improve its customer privacy protection.

Facebook removed access to its "Tag Suggest" feature at the request of Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC).

That controversial feature matches the faces in photos posted to Facebook with users, making it easier for Facebook users to identify individuals pictured in photographs they upload to the site.

The DPC was charged with reviewing Facebook’s privacy practices to determine whether they were in-line with EU data privacy laws. An audit completed by the agency in December, 2011, recommended 45 changes to the social network’s features to improve user privacy protections.

The audit followed a public uproar after an Austrian student, Max Schrems, requested a copy of the data that Facebook stored about him.

Schrems received a 1,200 page document that suggested the company was collecting awide range of information about users without their consent, and holding onto information – photos and comments – that users had been led to believe were deleted.

Among the data retained by Facebook were photo tags – many attributed without the subject’s consent using automated facial recognition technology embedded in Facebook's service.

That feature, dubbed "Tag Suggest" came under scrutiny in the DPC audit, with the Irish agency arguing that Facebook needed to give users the option of opting out of the Tag Suggest feature.

During negotiations, the European Commission further issued Article 29, a ruling on the use of facial recognition and other biometric technology in mobile devices.

During negotiations with the DPC, Facebook disabled the feature for EU users.

[link to nakedsecurity.sophos.com]
Anonymous Coward
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09/23/2012 01:35 PM
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Re: Under pressure, Facebook disables facial recognition in Europe
You can block the 'suggest tag' feature in your settings in the small small print. Doesn't mean they don't scan and store everything anyway! I guess it just slows the 'learning' curve of Facebook/CIA
Anonymous Coward
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United Kingdom
09/23/2012 01:36 PM
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Re: Under pressure, Facebook disables facial recognition in Europe
bsflag

Suuuurreee......
Anonymous Coward
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United States
09/23/2012 01:37 PM
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Re: Under pressure, Facebook disables facial recognition in Europe
clappa
Stanfiem

User ID: 23222641
United States
09/23/2012 05:19 PM
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Re: Under pressure, Facebook disables facial recognition in Europe
People will never learn. For one program that is "ended" hundreds more are already in the works to graciously take their place.
Stanfiem
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Netherlands
09/23/2012 05:49 PM
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Re: Under pressure, Facebook disables facial recognition in Europe
I uploaded a pic of a weed top two years ago, it recognized a face in it :lmoa: (I tagged a friend)
that's the only time I've seen it working.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 24295143
Spain
09/23/2012 05:56 PM
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Re: Under pressure, Facebook disables facial recognition in Europe
siren2Stop using Facebook end of story.siren2
smilesun (OP)

User ID: 24332034
Italy
09/24/2012 04:35 AM

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Re: Under pressure, Facebook disables facial recognition in Europe
You can block the 'suggest tag' feature in your settings in the small small print. Doesn't mean they don't scan and store everything anyway! I guess it just slows the 'learning' curve of Facebook/CIA
 Quoting: BuggedOut


So what can you do to nip the creep factor in the bud? Untag yourself from photos you don't like and — this should be pretty obvious — turn off the darn feature! [link to www.nbcnews.com]
Face Palmer
Yo mamma pulls catapults to gondor

User ID: 24332574
Germany
09/24/2012 05:19 AM

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Re: Under pressure, Facebook disables facial recognition in Europe
Its not displaying on the frontend. I'd bet they still use it on the backend.
"The world will soon wake up to the reality that everyone is broke and can collect nothing from the bankrupt, who are owed unlimited amounts by the insolvent, who are attempting to make late payments on a bank holiday in the wrong country, with an unacceptable currency, against defaulted collateral, of which nobody is sure who holds title."

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
smilesun (OP)

User ID: 24332034
Italy
09/24/2012 06:03 AM

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Re: Under pressure, Facebook disables facial recognition in Europe
siren2Stop using Facebook end of story.siren2
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 24295143

In America the numbers were far higher, with six million people not using or deactivating their accounts.

Company executives announced earlier this year that around half the UK population, around 30 million people, were now on Facebook.

Facebook is aiming to reach one billion users worldwide with most new traffic coming from developing countries.

The figures, from Inside Facebook , show that while there's so-called "Facebook fatigue" in countries like the US, the UK, Norway, Canada and Russia, the site is growing in Mexico, Brazil, India and Indonesia.

Facebook is now close to 700 million users, having reached 687 million by the start of June.

'Pleased with growth'
Growth is slowing in countries that adopted Facebook early and it's thought the social network may have reached saturation points in the US, Canada and the UK with more than half of the populations of those countries now members of the site.
[link to www.bbc.co.uk]

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