This story is from the category Legal
Date posted: 15/08/2012
German data privacy authorities have re-opened an investigation into Facebook's use of facial recognition.
The dispute involves the site's use of software to amass a database of its users' faces in order to make photo-tagging suggestions.
Data protection commissioner Johannes Caspar said the data had been collected without users' consent.
Facebook said it complied fully with EU data protection and privacy laws.
The database is used to power its Photo Tag Suggest feature - a function which works out who someone in a picture is based on previously gathered photographs of that person.
Users can then choose to tag their friends, who are then notified that a new picture of them had been uploaded.
The feature, like many on Facebook, operates on an opt-out basis, an approach heavily criticised by Mr Caspar who has demanded that the database is destroyed.
He argued that it was gathered without users' consent and therefore illegal.
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