Germany Plans Legal Action Against Facebook, Over Face Recognition Privacy Issues

By Gary Cutlack on at

Germany's Data Protection Authority is not happy with Facebook. It claims the social network's facial recognition system is a form of biometric data harvesting, for which it should've first sought the permission of users.

The argument has been going on for some time. The DPA wants Facebook to gain approval retrospectively, which would mean contacting millions of users and asking them, tactfully, if they were OK with the network having scanned their photos and attempted to identify their faces and those of their friends for use in its tagging system.

Facebook said it's happy to put a check box in place, which would allow future German photo uploaders to signal their acceptance of the use of the scanning feature. But the DPA isn't happy about that, as it doesn't cover users who had their photos digitally scrutinised without question when the auto-tagging system first launched.

Now both sides are angry and have stopped talking to each other, so there's every possibility that big money will be heading off to some EU lawyers in the search of a resolution. [Macworld]