Facebook to Cease Facial Recognition Feature in Europe

Backs down after pressure from European regulators.

John Divine
John Divine
Sep 21, 2012 at 12:00AM
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Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) has agreed to stop using its facial recognition technology in Europe and delete a database of millions of Europeans' pictures, according to a report today in The New York Times. The feature scanned uploaded pictures and suggested tagging people in the photos, based on the database.

Facebook had come under criticism from regulators in Ireland, where the company has its European headquarters. It plans to delete the European photo registry and discontinue the photo-tagging service in Europe by Oct. 15, reported the Times, although it said it hopes to reapply the feature in the future, with tighter privacy controls. About 235 million Facebook users are European, according to the Times report.

Photo sharing is an increasing area of concentration for the company, which bought online photo-tagging company Instagram for $1 billion back in April.

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