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EU To Probe Facebook Over Facial Recognition Feature

European Union data-protection regulators are planning to probe Facebook over its latest facial recognition feature that it began rolling out worldwide yesterday. Facebook rolled out Tag Suggestions across the US late last year, but for countries outside of the US, the company switched it on by default without telling its users first.

“Tags of people on pictures should only happen based on people’s prior consent and it can’t be activated by default,” Gerard Lommel, a Luxembourg member of the so-called Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, told BusinessWeek. Such automatic tagging “can bear a lot of risks for users” and the group of European data protection officials will “clarify to Facebook that this can’t happen like this.”

When you upload new photos, Facebook uses software similar to that found in many photo editing tools to match your new photos to other photos you’re tagged in. Similar photos are grouped together and, whenever possible, Facebook suggests the name(s) your friend(s) in the photos. In other words, the square that magically finds faces in a photo now suggests names of your Facebook friends to streamline the tagging process, especially with the same friends in multiple uploaded photos.

When I asked Facebook about the feature yesterday, I was given the following statement: “We launched Tag Suggestions to help people add tags of their friends in photos; something that’s currently done more than 100 million times a day. Tag Suggestions are only made to people when they add new photos to the site, and only friends are suggested. If for any reason someone doesn’t want their name to be suggested, they can disable the feature in their Privacy Settings. When we announced this feature last December, we explained that we would test it, listen to feedback and iterate before rolling it out more broadly. We should have been more clear with people during the roll-out process when this became available to them. Tag Suggestions are now available in most countries and we’ll post further updates to our blog over time.”

For more information about Tag Suggestions and how turn them off, check out yesterday’s article: Facebook starts rolling out facial recognition feature worldwide.


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One comment

  1. August 10th, 2011 1:14

    Anonymous pronto ad attaccare Facebook? Una bufala


  2. August 10th, 2011 0:43

    Facebook triunfa en el Internet móvil de Europa: Una reciente encuesta centrada en el uso del Internet móvil y r…


  3. August 9th, 2011 12:44

    Eu quero ganhar um CD da TAPE! Basta seguir no twitter; cuir no Face e dar !


  4. August 9th, 2011 0:44

    eu comecei a postar as foos no facebook, mais dai iria estragar a surpresa de todos, nao é? haha vao ter que esperar ate dia 10 de setembroo


  5. August 8th, 2011 13:15

    Gente que não atende celular, nem responde e-mail, mas posta ao mesmo tempo no Facebook/Twitter. Deus está vendo, e eu também…


  6. August 8th, 2011 12:43

    Cara eu nem uso meu Facebook rs’


  7. August 8th, 2011 12:43

    Cara eu nem uso meu Facebook rs’


  8. August 8th, 2011 0:43


  9. August 7th, 2011 12:43

    e ainda espera que eu adicione e inicie um bate-papo. amigo, facebook não é uol.


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