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Facebook’s automated photo tagging prompts full EU personal privacy probe

June 09, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Cyber Security, Dr Search, Facebook, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

European Union data protection regulators will probe Facebook after it started a global rollout of its new face recognition photo tagging system without allowing it’s users’ to opt in.
Facebook’s automated photo tagging prompts full EU personal privacy probeThe new feature “recognises” faces in photos, shortening the often tedious tagging process, which enables users to connect a face in a photo with an actual friend on Facebook.

The process has now been semi-automated- Facebook provides suggestions for individuals in photos, and the user chooses to accept or reject them.

The feature is enabled by default although it can be disabled by customizing your privacy settings.

However, European Union regulators think that this feature is a potential privacy risk.

“Tags of people on pictures should only happen based on people’s prior consent and it can’t be activated by default,” said Gerard Lommel, a Luxembourg member of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party.

In the past, EU regulators have criticised companies such as Microsoft and Google as well as Yahoo for storing data search queries for too long.

Facebook, too, was criticised for not doing enough to protect the privacy of its users.

Dr Search isn’t surprised by Facebook’s ongoing disregard to it’s users’ personal security. They have a long track record of blunderbussing ahead without care and sufferring the consequences later.

Hopefully a large fine might bring some sence- if only to delay their impending IPO due to regulatory uncertainty that this investigation will cause.

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