News Ticker

European regulators probe Facebook face recognition technology

CNET news is reporting that regulators are investigating whether Facebook’s photo-tagging service violates European law.  The “tag suggestion” service that Facebook introduced in the United States in December is now being introduced “in most countries,” according to a post on Facebook’s official blog.

The blog post said that “When you or a friend upload new photos, we use face recognition software—similar to that found in many photo editing tools—to match your new photos to other photos you’re tagged in. We group similar photos together and, whenever possible, suggest the name of the friend in the photos.”

But Bloomberg reports that the service could violate European rules, according to Gerard Lommel, a member of the “Article 29 Data Protection Working Party.”  Lommel told Bloomberg, “Tags of people on pictures should only happen based on people’s prior consent and it can’t be activated by default.”

Facebook’s help center features a section on Photo tagging including advice on how to opt out of being suggested for tagging from Fadebook’s Privacy Settings page.

Listen to Larry’s 1-minute CBS News Tech Talk segment on this subject.

Disclosure: Larry Magid is co-director of which receives financial support from Facebook.


Leave a comment