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Facebook suspends photo tag tool in Europe

Facebook today shut down its facial-recognition tool in Europe, based on recommendations from the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC).

Though the DPC didn’t specifically call for the program to be completely removed, Commissioner Billy Hawkes is happy with the end result.

Billy Hawkes, who did not request the tool’s total removal, said he was encouraged by the decision to switch it off for users in Europe by 15 October. It is already unavailable to new users.

Mr Hawkes said Facebook “is sending a clear signal of its wish to demonstrate its commitment to best practice in data protection compliance”.

Privacy cases can prove costly for social networking sites like Facebook, which was the first American company to debut with a value of more than $100 billion in its initial public offering in May, before its share price slumped on an uncertain outlook.

It had to settle a case for $9.5 million after its now defunct “Beacon” service violated its members’ privacy rights by not requiring their consent to allow the company to broadcast their internet activity.




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