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Facebook EU Privacy Social Networks Technology

Facebook Disables Face Recognition In EU 96

Posted by Soulskill
from the privacy-on-demand dept.
SquarePixel writes "Facebook has disabled face recognition features on its site for all new European users. The move follows privacy recommendations made by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. Tag Suggest information has been turned off for new users, and Facebook plans to delete the information for existing EU users by October 15th. 'The DPC says today’s report (PDF) is the result of evaluations it made through the first half of 2012 and on-site at Facebook’s HQ in Dublin over the course of two days in May and four in July. The DPC says FB has made just about all of the improvements it requested in five key areas: better transparency for the user in how their data is handled; user control over settings; more clarity on the retention periods for the deletion of personal data, and users getting more control over deleting things; an improvement in how users can access their personal data; and the ability of Facebook to be able to better track how they are complying with data protection requirements.'"
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Facebook Disables Face Recognition In EU

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  • by Svippy (876087) on Friday September 21, 2012 @03:36PM (#41415135) Homepage

    It's not illegal in Belgium

    Yes it is. Please read the link I provided, or you can use Google to find hundreds of other references.

    It was a ban on burkas [bbc.co.uk]. Yes, it's ridiculous, but it is not illegal to wear masks in Belgium. It was a ban on religious clothing that obscures a face, particularly forced upon women. But the amount of burkas used in Belgium is probably at a minimum.

    Italy or Spain.

    Italy and Spain have local bans. For instance, obscuring your face in public is illegal in Barcelona [reuters.com].

    Actually, it's only illegal in public buildings, such as markets and libraries, which your link itself lists quite clearly. You can still walk outside while having your face obscured.

    So basically, your "many EU countries" is "France". Belgium's law will likely have little consequence, and it seems that the Barcelona law is a protection of public buildings. Not that Turkey is the pedestal of civil rights, but they also had a similar ban as Barcelona (until at least very recently).

    Denmark also have a ban on masks, but only during demonstrations and other large crowds. The usual freedom was previously abused heavily by activists to destroy property rather than actual demonstrate. The rationale is that if you are really interested in your message, you will have no issue showing your face at a public demonstration.

    But most of these laws seems to be a form of Islamophobia than an actual crackdown on civil liberties, which seems to be collateral damage. There was even talk about banning burkas in Denmark, until politicians realised only 5 people in the whole country wore them, and they were ethnic Danes who had converted to Islam. The cases might even be similar in most other EU countries. Like the Swiss ban on Minarets. Ridiculous.

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