Germany prepares to sue Facebook over facial recognition feature

Posted in: Legal & Security at 12/11/2011 19:24

[IDG] The Hamburg Data Protection Authority (DPA) is starting preliminary procedures to bring legal action against Facebook over the facial recognition feature used for photo tagging on the social network. The authority decided that further negotiation is futile after the social networking giant didn't agree to obtain consent from users retroactively.

German data protection laws require companies to clearly inform users about how their personal information is being used and the Hamburg data protection agency says that this didn't happen when Facebook began using facial recognition technology for photo-tag suggestions.

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Facebook faces lawsuit over facial-recognition feature
The state data protection authority in Hamburg is preparing to sue the social-networking giant over the feature, which automatically recognizes and tags photos in Facebook users' networks, according to a report in Deutsche Welle.

"This requires storing a comprehensive database of the biometric features of all users," the organization reportedly wrote in a German-language statement published on its Web site. "Facebook has introduced this feature in Europe, without informing the user and without obtaining the required consent. Unequivocal consent of the parties is required by both European and national data protection law."

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