Norway to investigate Facebook’s facial recognition
08 August 2012
Facebook’s facial recognition feature has drawn the attention of Norway’s data-protection regulator.
The programme automatically suggests people’s names to tag in pictures posted to the site, something which the Norwegian Data Protection Agency states could breach privacy rights. The regulator is planning to launch a full investigation later this year.
The Norwegian investigation intends to open a dialogue about exactly how the facial recognition feature works and also find out more about how Facebook stores data on instant messages sent between users.
The investigation is being coordinated with privacy regulators in Ireland, where Facebook has its main service provider for users outside of the US.
Other countries have also taken an interest in privacy issues raised by the facial recognition feature. The European Union (EU) has ruled that it can only be used with people’s consent and in the US, the Senate Judiciary Committee asked the social network to turn the feature off by default at a hearing in July.
Facial recognition was quietly rolled out worldwide by Facebook in June. It had been announced in December 2011 for US users, but no indication was made that it would go global.
David Hing, London