Facebook must turn off face recognition technology
Facebook has been ordered by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes, to turn off its face recognition feature.
However Facebook intends the disabling of the face recognition tool to be only temporary. “Our intention is to reinstate the tag-suggest feature, but consistent with new guidelines,’” says Facebook’s EMEA director of policy Richard Allan.
In June, Facebook bought face.com, an Israeli firm with face recognition software. Facebook has the world’s largest database of photos of people.
face.com’s technology could deliver 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.
The Norwegian data protection regulator is working with the Irish regulator, whileGerman regulator says he’s waiting for the Irish to report before Germany resumes its investigations.
The EC’s Article 29 Data Protection Working Party has ruled that: “Once consent is withdrawn, processing for the purposes of facial recognition should stop immediately.”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. .