Facebook recently announced that they intend to bring facial recognition back in Europe. They had previously withdrawn this feature back in 2012 because several data privacy groups objected to it. Moreover, the social media network will make the feature available in Canada for the first time since its launch back in 2011.
The Official Announcement
This move was announced by Facebook through a blog post. The people responsible with the announcement were Deputy General Counsel Ashlie Beringer, together with the Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan. The executives declared that for more than six years, they have been offering products that rely on face recognition all around the world. Now, as part of their latest update, they will give this chance to people in the EU and Canada as well.
But what does it do more exactly? This feature lets Facebook scan your photos and suggest some users you can tag in them. Facebook underlined the fact that this feature will be optional, not compulsory.
However, this isn’t the only change Facebook plans to implement soon. Next month, they want to introduce some sweeping data protection rules, called the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe. This will offer its users more choices related to data sharing, instead of automatically signing them up.
Even so, the availability of facial recognition is a controversial one for the platform. They are currently facing quite a lot of scandal regarding the way they are manipulating their users’ data. At the same time, the EU regulators declared they’re not satisfied with the way in which the feature complies with their data rules. In fact, on Monday, one of the federal judges in the US ruled that the social network will face a class action lawsuit. This relates to the fact that the app uses facial recognition on photos without the user’s permission.
Nicole Hicks a graduate of UFT. She’s based in Toronto but travels much of the year. Nicole has written for NPR, Motherboard, MSN Money, and the Huffington Post. Nicole is a financial reporter, focusing on technology, national security, and policing.