Facebook's facial recognition earns German state's wrath

One of Facebook's popular, and much spoken about features has been its facial recognition feature, opting for which allows the social networking site to recognize faces on photos, and then suggest the user to tag the friend. This feature, when it first came out brought a lot of privacy-related issues with it over the use of the opt-in and opt-out feature. According to a report in ZDNet, Johannes Casper, the data protection commissioner of Hamburg, Germany, has decided to sue the social networking site over this very feature, and will soon fine Facebook over the same.

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Facial recognition woes



Casper alleges that there seems to be a lot of uncertainity over the opt-in v/s opt-out feature, and he is enraged by the fact that Facebook ignored the deadline, which he had set for Facebook to discontinue the feature. Facebook, however denies having done anything defying the German law. But, the report states otherwise, it adds that according to the German law user must be allowed to choose, in the first place (opt-in), before data about them was used. 


This feature is diametrically different from the regular image tagging, which already exists on Facebook. Facial recognition requires the user to add tags to any image, only once, which the feature would then memorize and use it for the next time the same person appeared in some other image uploaded. 


Casper now seeks a fine of $420,000 from Facebook, for having missed out on the deadline. We wonder what Facebook's move will be like?

Published Date: Nov 11, 2011 03:27 pm | Updated Date: Nov 11, 2011 03:27 pm