Facebook removes EU facial recognition

Sept. 21, 2012 at 4:32 PM

PORTARLINGTON, Ireland, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Facebook is turning off facial recognition features for Facebook users in Europe based on the recommendations of the Irish Data Protection Commission.

Irish Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes said the feature has been turned off for new users in the European Union and templates for existing EU users will be deleted by Oct. 15.

"I am particularly encouraged in relation to the approach it has decided to adopt on the tag suggest/facial recognition feature by in fact agreeing to go beyond our initial recommendations, in light of developments since then, in order to achieve best practice," Hawkes said Friday in a statement.

Facebook has been under pressure from the commission to improve transparency about how user data are handled and to increase user control over settings and personal data.

"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," a Facebook spokesman said in a statement to PCMag.com.

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