Why Europe Is Freaking Out About Facebook Photo Recognition

More

Last year, Facebook quietly rolled out a facial recognition tool for its photo tagging feature. Perhaps anticipating some backlash, the tool, which can be seen as rather creepy given its ability to tell you apart from your friends, the new tool was added slowly, activated for only a slice of American Facebook users at a time. Last week, the feature was added for users outside of the United States -- and the reaction has been much worse.

On Wednesday afternoon, the European Union data-protection regulators announced a probe to investigate whether the social network's new feature violates privacy rules. "Tags of people on pictures should only happen based on people's prior consent and it can't be activated by default," said a Luxembourg official told Businessweek, adding that the regulators intend to "clarify to Facebook that this can't happen like this." And that's a general complaint against Facebook, whose founder believes that the web should be social by default. In addition to the E.U. probe, officials in the United Kingdom and Ireland are looking into this practice.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Jump to comments
Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

How have stories changed in the age of social media? The minds behind House of Cards, This American Life, and The Moth discuss.


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In