Germany warns Facebook over face-recognition app

October 21, 2011
A man looks at Facebook in September 2011. Facebook has until November 7 to bring its facial recognition software into conformity with privacy laws in Germany and the European Union or face legal action, a government lawyer told AFP Friday.

Facebook has until November 7 to bring its facial recognition software into conformity with privacy laws in Germany and the European Union or face legal action, a government lawyer told AFP Friday.

"We have had extended negotiations with Facebook and have clearly stressed our position," Johannes Caspar, a lawyer working on the case, told AFP.

"We have given them until November 7," to change the application to conform with , he added.

Now was the time for Facebook to make a decision, he said.

"If our demands are not met, we will be obliged to take the legal path...," to force them to conform with the law, he said.

Facebook's controversial application, which has been very popular with users, allows users to identify people through online photos.

But for Berlin, it violates both German and European data protection laws. Germany has accused the US-based company of collecting data without the explicit consent of Facebook users.

"When the data are recorded, Facebook has to have the explicit consent of the person concerned, which is not the case at the moment...," Caspar said.

In August, the Hamburg-based lawyer called on Facebook to delete all the data collected by the biometric facial recognition application, although he did not go as far as to call for the application itself to be withdrawn.

refused to comply with the request.

Germany acted against another US Internet giant, , over its "" network, which compiles street-level photos of cities to supplement its map service.

Explore further: Germany takes legal steps against Facebook

Related Stories

Germany takes legal steps against Facebook

July 7, 2010

(AP) -- A German data protection official said Wednesday he launched legal proceedings against Facebook, which he accused of illegally accessing and saving personal data of people who don't use the social networking site.

Facebook appoints director of privacy

September 14, 2011

Facebook, which has been dogged by complaints over privacy, announced Tuesday that it has named a director of privacy at the social network.

Facebook to suggest friends to tag in users photos

December 16, 2010

(AP) -- Facebook will try to make it easier to identify friends in photos uploaded to the social networking site by using facial recognition software to suggest people that users may want to tag.

Privacy groups ask FTC to investigate Facebook

September 29, 2011

(AP) -- Nine privacy groups have sent a joint letter to the Federal Trade Commission saying it should investigate the ways Facebook collects data about users' online activity after recent changes to its site.

Recommended for you

Tech titans join to study artificial intelligence

September 29, 2016

Major technology firms have joined forces in a partnership on artificial intelligence, aiming to cooperate on "best practices" on using the technology "to benefit people and society."

MIT's flea market specializes in rare, obscure electronics

September 25, 2016

Once a month in the summer, a small parking lot on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's campus transforms into a high-tech flea market known for its outlandish offerings. Tables overflow with antique radio equipment, ...

First test of driverless minibus in Paris Saturday

September 24, 2016

The French capital's transport authority will on Saturday carry out its first test of a driverless minibus, in the hope that regular routes for the hi-tech vehicles will be up and running within two years.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.