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Facebook facial recognition software violates privacy laws, says Germany
Posted By admin On August 4, 2011 @ 3:30 am In Prison Planet | Comments Disabled
London Guardian 
Aug 4, 2011
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.
Now Hamburg’s data protection official has written to Facebook to demand it stops running the facial recognition programme on German users and deletes any related data. Johannes Caspar said the German authorities would take action if Facebook did not comply and could face fines of up to €300,000 (£262,000).
“Should Facebook maintain the function, it must ensure that only data from persons who have declared consent to the storage of their biometric facial profiles be stored in the database,” he said. The software offered potential for “considerable abuse” and was illegal.
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URLs in this post:
 London Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/aug/03/facebook-facial-recognition-privacy-germany
 Image: http://www.prisonplanet.tv/
 Facebook to use facial recognition software to suggest friends when tagging new photos: http://www.prisonplanet.com/facebook-to-use-facial-recognition-software-to-suggest-friends-when-tagging-new-photos.html
 Germany Is Freaking Out About Facebook’s Facial Recognition Feature: http://www.prisonplanet.com/germany-is-freaking-out-about-facebooks-facial-recognition-feature.html
 Facebook quietly switches on facial recognition tech by default: http://www.prisonplanet.com/facebook-quietly-switches-on-facial-recognition-tech-by-default.html
 Facebook Is Now Using Facial Recognition Technology – Have You Checked Your Privacy Settings Lately?: http://www.prisonplanet.com/facebook-is-now-using-facial-recognition-technology-%e2%80%93-have-you-checked-your-privacy-settings-lately.html
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