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Hamburg To Fine Facebook Over Facial Recognition Feature 195

An anonymous reader writes "Johannes Caspar, data protection commissioner for the German state of Hamburg, today declared he will soon fine Facebook over its use of biometric facial recognition technology. He said 'further negotiations are pointless' because the company had ignored a deadline he set for it to remove the feature. German authorities could fine Facebook up to €300,000 ($420,000)."
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Hamburg To Fine Facebook Over Facial Recognition Feature

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  • by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @06:59PM (#38017460) / German-language facebook / office in the city of.. Hamburg, Germany.
    ( [] )

    So... Yes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2011 @07:10PM (#38017546)

    a physical office is doing business you blithering idiot.

    Hamburg, Germany
    Our German office is located in beautiful downtown Hamburg, surrounded by splendid shopping opportunities we are also just few minutes walk from the vibrant harbor area and the most infamous part of town - St. Pauli!
    Open Positions
    Account Management (1)

            Account Manager (Hamburg)

    Ads Marketing (1)

            Head of Brand & Agency Marketing (Hamburg)

    Corporate Communications (1)

            Head of Policy (Germany)

    Monetization (1)

            Senior Strategist, Global Customer Marketing (Hamburg)

    Sales International (3)

            Client Partner (Hamburg)
            International Client Partner (Hamburg)
            Regional Director Europe (Germany & Nordics)

  • by silanea ( 1241518 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @08:11PM (#38017980)

    Presumably you are not from Germany. Privacy and data protection are regarded quite differently over here compared to, say the US. We had two totalitarian regimes in one century on German soil who drew most of their power from the insane amount of information they collected on individual citizens, and the last few months of public debate have been dominated by several data snooping and retention initiatives by our government and police, and this debate may well cost a few top-ranking politicians and public servants their seats/jobs.

    People here regard information about themselves as their property. When Google announced the expansion of StreetView to Germany they brought a shitstorm upon themselves. Take a look around German cities in StreetView. A large number of houses had to be blurred out because of complaints by residents. Google very narrowly avoided concerted legal action from our federal and states' data protection officers. Facebook will have to follow the law or risk being banned. We had quite a few successful social networks here before Facebook opened up to international users. Right now they are barely keeping themselves afloat, but should Facebook be kicked out they would jump to fill the void with a legal alternative.

  • by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @08:11PM (#38017984)

    If they want to do business in Germany, they comply with German law. Not sure what's so difficult to understand on that point... wouldn't be the first time Facebook has had to adjust its practices to stay on the friendly side of the law. Actually, it wouldn't be the first time they've had to adjust their practices to comply with German law, at that. The reason you can hide your profile from search, among other privacy features you've been granted, are because of the orders of the German and Canadian privacy commissions....

  • by boristhespider ( 1678416 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @08:22PM (#38018122)

    Facebook have an office in Hamburg.

  • Re:lol (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2011 @11:10PM (#38019310)

    No, this is not a local issue, the reason Hamburg is doing this is because the headquarters of Facebook Germany are in Hamburg, so the Hamburg Data Protection Officer is the one that has to deal with a company that is breaking the law, if a German company based in NY breaks the law it is the duty of the NY Procecution office to deal with it, not the duty of congress is it ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2011 @11:22PM (#38019388)

    You are confusing business and accessibility, I run a site that can be accessed from around the world, but only do business in the UK, so only have to abide by UK and pan-European law, if foreign governments do not like it they have the power to block the site locally but nothing else. Facebook has an office in Hamburg hence has to comply with German law.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire