Norwegian Probe Could Scupper Facebook Face Recognition App.

The Norwegians could scupper Facebook’s attempt to create the greatest-ever handset app – the ability to hold up a smartphone camera to a face in the street or a room or a crowd and have the device recognize that face and give the biographical details associated with it.

In June, Facebook bought, an Israeli firm with face recognition software. Facebook has the world’s largest database of photos of people.

The Norwegian data protection regulator is investigating Facebook in regard to its facial recognition activities. The Norwegians are working with the Irish regulator, while the German regulator says he’s waiting for the Irish to report before Germany resumes its investigations into Facebook.

The EC’s Article 29 Data Protection Working Party has ruled that: “Once consent is withdrawn, processing for the purposes of facial recognition should stop immediately.”

That means people can stop themselves being subjected to recognition technology by objecting to it. If they don’t, it seems, they are subject to being recognised. .

Facebook is desperate to find ways of making money from the mobile Internet. Its inability to spell out a strategy for doing so has helped its shares fall from $38 at its mid-May IPO to $20.

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