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Germany Investigating Facebook Tagging Feature

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 8:34am
New York Times

BERLIN — A German regulator said Wednesday that he had asked Facebook, the social networking leader, to disable its new photo-tagging feature, which he warned could violate European privacy laws.

Johannes Caspar, the data protection supervisor in Hamburg, who has been aggressive in investigating the online practices of companies like Google and Apple, said he was concerned that Facebook’s facial recognition feature amounted to the unauthorized collection of data on individuals.

The software, called “suggested automatic tagging,” lets Facebook users assign digital name tags to people in their photographs. Photos that are uploaded later are scanned for physical features and can be tagged and stored.

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