Facebook Turns Off Facial Recognition Software In the EU

By Jon Partridge on at

Had a good few too many on a night out and one of your friends is a snap-happy, camera-toting madman? Fingers crossed that they don't tag you, but if they do, have no worries about some of those drunken untagged photos of you popping up in the Tag Suggest feature on Facebook, as the social networking giant's facial recognition software is soon to be switched off in the European Union due to privacy concerns.

New users to Facebook will have the featured turned off automatically, and Facebook plans to delete all Tag Suggest information and disable the feature for current members in the EU by October 15th, meaning you should probably keep the drunken antics under wraps for now. The Tag Suggest feature has been rather controversial since it came into play and was turned on by default last year, and members had to opt out if they did not want to be part of the system.

Billy Hawkes, head of the Irish Data Protection Commission has stressed that he was satisfied that Facebook had made clear commitment to comply with responsibilities in line with Irish and EU privacy laws. That said, Facebook is still under investigation by the office of Johanne Caspar, the commissioner for data protection and freedom of information in Germany. So, bar anyone? [The Telegraph, The Verge]

Image credit: Facebook via Shutterstock