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Facebook biometrics feature is illegal, German regulator says

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(Read caption) Facebook facial recognition software should be tossed out the window, a German regulator said this week.

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Back in June, the European Union announced it would look into new software Facebook which uses face recognition software to help categorize and tag new photographs. Now Johannes Caspar, a data protection expert with the city of Hamburg, is threatening Facebook with legal action unless the company removes the functionality from the network.

"If the data were to get into the wrong hands, then someone with a picture taken on a mobile phone could use biometrics to compare the pictures and make an identification," Caspar said, according to the Guardian. "The right to anonymity is in danger." Facebook has remained mum.

But in a response to the previous European Union investigation, the company issued a short statement stressing that the facial recognition feature was optional. "We launched Tag Suggestions to help people add tags of their friends in photos; something that’s currently done more than 100 million times a day," Facebook reps said. "Tag Suggestions are only made to people when they add new photos to the site, and only friends are suggested."


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