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Facebook turns off facial recognition technology in EU


By The Drum Team, Editorial

September 22, 2012 | 2 min read

Facebook has switched off its photo facial recognition technology in the EU as Irish regulators found it posed one of the main privacy threats on the social site.

The facial recognition technology automatically suggests people to tag in pictures by scanning faces, ensuring that they are shared more widely. It was turned on by default last year, requiring Facebook users to opt out if they did not want to be part of the system.

Facebook has been warned that if it does not comply with the new orders in the EU within four weeks it will face a fine of up to £80,000.

A Facebook spokesperson commented: “As our regulator in Europe, the Irish office of the data protection commissioner is constantly working with us to ensure that we keep improving on the high standards of control that we have built into our existing tools.

"This audit is part of an ongoing process of oversight, and we are pleased that, as the data protection commissioner said, the latest announcement is confirmation that we are not only compliant with European data protection law but we have gone beyond some of their initial recommendations and are fully committed to best practice in data protection compliance."

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