Hamburger Datenschützer: Procedure for facial recognition on Facebook resumed

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Although Facebook has announced that it will for the time being waive the creation of further facial models of new users, but rejected further obligations, said the Hamburg data protection Johannes Caspar on Wednesday as a reason. "This is and remains the existing database of biometric patterns, which was created without the consent of those affected, unlawful, " he said.

"The data already collected by the data subject must be deleted, or at least it must be ensured that the data subjects can subsequently expressly consent to the further storage and use of their facial data, " Caspar demanded. A database with the "facial imprint" of millions of users has an immense risk and abuse potential.

Facebook emphasized that the online network believed that the photo-tag feature was fully compliant with European data protection legislation. In the contacts with the competent authority in Europe, the Office of the Irish Data Protection Supervisor, it was agreed to develop the best solution to inform people on Facebook about the photo-labeling proposals, the network said in a response.

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Caspar suspended the case in June after Facebook announced that negotiations with the Irish automatic face-recognition authority were close to reaching a legally viable agreement. The then hope that Facebook would meet the data protection claims by negotiation, but only partially met, he explained.

Last year, Facebook also introduced a feature in Germany that automatically identifies faces of friends in uploaded pictures. The privacy advocates argue that this requires an explicit commitment from those affected - instead of the Facebook provided option to disable the feature. This summer, Facebook also bought the Israeli startup Face.com, which specializes in facial recognition technologies. (Dpa / tc)