Facebook Turns Off Facial Recognition For European Users

Posted Sep 21, 2012

Those of you that actively upload photo albums on Facebook have most likely encountered the facial recognition system built in to make tagging easier.  Unfortunately Facebook users will no longer be able to access this feature since the European Union insists that the feature should be blocked.

Facebook was audited by the Data Protection Commission (DPC) in Ireland to implement many changes in Europe that deals with privacy and security.  Photo tagging has been turned off for European users and the company is deleting templates for existing users by October 15th.

Facebook is going to work with the DPC on creating a process for getting a user’s content if they try to bring back the tagging feature using facial recognition.  The DPC received a “satisfactory response” from Facebook on all of the pressing issues, but a few features are due for further review before the company can pass the audit officially.  Below is a statement that Facebook sent to CNET:

As our regulator in Europe, the Irish Office of the Data Protection Commissioner is constantly working with us to ensure that we keep improving on the high standards of control that we have built into our existing tools. This audit is part of an ongoing process of oversight, and we are pleased that, as the Data Protection Commissioner said, the latest announcement is confirmation that we are not only compliant with European data protection law but we have gone beyond some of their initial recommendations and are fully committed to best practice in data protection compliance.