Facebook has quietly brought facial-recognition technology back in Europe after disabling its tag suggest feature there in October 2012, but it only works on friends from the U.S. who have enabled the tag suggest option in their profile settings, according to a report by TechCrunch.
Office of the Data Protection Commissioner
Facebook appeared to have settled concerns within the European Union over its use of facial-recognition technology with Friday’s announcement of an agreement between the social network and Ireland’s Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, but the memo apparently never made it to Hamburg, Germany.
Irish eyes (and those of the rest of the European Union) are finally smiling on Facebook, as Ireland’s Office of the Data Protection Commissioner announced that “the great majority” of the privacy recommendations it made to the social network to keep it in compliance with those of the EU have been “fully implemented to the satisfaction of this office.” The major concession by Facebook: Its tag suggest feature, which enabled facial recognition for Facebook photos, has been turned off for all new users in the EU, with existing users to lose access to the feature by Oct. 15.
Facebook’s facial-recognition feature is coming under scrutiny in another country, as the Norwegian Data Protection Agency said it will launch an investigation this fall and speak with the social network about the technology behind it.
The next big deadline for Facebook in Ireland, where it has been working with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner to respond to privacy concerns originally raised by Austrian group Europe Versus Facebook last October, is this October, when several privacy objectives the two parties agreed upon are due to be implemented.
Remember the long list of privacy objectives Facebook promised Ireland’s Office of the Data Protection Commissioner it would implement by the end of the first quarter of 2012? Well, it’s now the second quarter of 2012.