Wednesday05 October 2022

Facebook suspends facial recognition tool in Europe

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Looks like an even bigger impact on privacy from Facebook has been stopped, or at least delayed for now in Europe. The facial recognition tool has been suspended due to a recommendation by the Data Protection Commissioner of Ireland, Billy Hawkes, from the last year that Facebook should make some changes first. Even though Hawkes didn’t asked for the tool's total removal it is delayed until October 15 for now. He said that “Facebook is sending a clear signal of its wish to demonstrate its commitment to best practice in data protection compliance.”

It is quite obvious that this tool will have a significant impact on everyone's privacy, but Facebook sees it as an opportunity to “improve“ their service even more and bring new changes. It's not like Facebook users like this new changes, I personally do not know a single person that was happy when their page switched to timeline. If people want to be tagged they will do it themselves, there is no need for some tool to automatically do it. After Facebook received the recommendations in December 2011 Facebook had 6 months to comply with them, but the DPC stated they still have some work to do in certain areas.
face recognition

There is also concern about whether photos that users mark for deletion are really deleted after 40 days as it states in regulations. The DPC is also concerned about deactivated accounts and the main suggestion is to contact users with them after certain period of time and see if they are coming back. There are a lot of things about Facebook that could be done better, especially regarding privacy issues, let’s just hope that this government involvement will be a first step into improving users’ privacy.

[Ed – Now that Facebook is a publicly traded company we expect to see them comply more with this type of request. When they were privately held they did not really have to answer to anyone and made changes that were certainly not in keeping with their users desires. Now that they have stock holders/investors to answer to they are more likely to want to keep people happy. It will be very interesting to see how the facial recognition tool plays out and to see if there is any truth to the rumor that Facebook might be allowing the FBI access to their database…]

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Last modified on Monday, 24 September 2012 05:42

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