by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
face recognition, germany, privacy


Germany Tells Facebook To Destroy Face Recognition Database

from the no-innovation-allowed dept

I've already noted that I don't understand the fuss over Facebook's facial recognition feature -- but plenty of people (including many of you) completely disagree. And, so do regulators in Germany, apparently. As they've suddenly re-opened their investigation of the feature (jumping on the bandwagon with Ireland and Norway) and told Facebook that it needs to destroy its database of faces collected in Germany, and change the system so that people have to opt-in, rather than opt-out.

Of course, I'm still wondering how this is different than existing tagged images. If my friend Joe "tags" me in an image, then Facebook already has that info. Is it that different if Facebook's system tagged me or if Joe tags me? Should Joe have to first get permission from me to identify me in a photo? That seems like a stretch.

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  1. icon
    Lisa Westveld (profile), 17 Aug 2012 @ 12:58am

    German laws are becoming less real every day. Okay, I don't like facial recognition in facebook either, since it allows people to follow me on pictures taken by others, where I've been tagged. It could one day even result in some freak who takes a picture of my face on the street to use that picture to track my own facebook profile and all information that I share, plus what others share about me.
    If this technique continues then I could end up with a bunch of stalkers who find out who I am, where I live, where I work, simply by taking a picture of me.

    But having to destroy that database? That's over the top. It should stay, but each facebook member must give permission first before she can be tagged. (Yes, opt-in instead of opt-out.)

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