Facebook facial recognition software violates privacy laws, says Germany

Facebook is threatened with legal action in Germany over its facial recognition software, which critics say violates privacy and data protection laws.The tool runs all photos uploaded to the social networking site through a programme and identifies the user’s friends on each picture. There was an outcry when it was rolled out in June to more than 500m members worldwide, though users can opt out of the automatic tagging, Facebook can still gather and store (indefinitely) all photos added to the site.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/aug/03/facebook-facial-recognition-privacy-germanyGermany Investigating Facebook Tagging Feature
A German regulator said Wednesday that he had asked Facebook to disable its new photo-tagging software, saying he was concerned that its facial recognition feature amounted to the unauthorized collection of data on individuals.Johannes Caspar, the data protection supervisor in Hamburg, who has been aggressive in investigating the online practices of companies like Google and Apple, warned that the feature could violate European privacy laws.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/technology/germany-investigates-facebook-tagging.htmlGermany Asks Facebook to Disable Facial Recognition
The head of the German data protection authority has asked Facebook to disable its facial recognition feature over concerns that it violates European Union privacy laws.Johannes Caspar, head of the Hamburg Data Protection Authority, sent Facebook a letter, in which he argued that facial recognition amounts to unauthorized data collection on individuals. Caspar sent the letter on Wednesday, and has given Facebook two weeks to respond.

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