Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) launched its new photo-sharing app Moments this week, but European users won’t get to enjoy it.
Facebook Moments uses facial recognition technology to automatically identify people and group together images based on who is in those photos. It’s essentially a way of automating the tagging of friends in photos. The app will also help out in organizing photos on the user’s device and then allow them to share those photos privately with friends and family.
This is the main reason why Facebook won’t be launching its Moments app in the European Union, especially since their views on this type of technology have not become more permissive in the meantime.
In Moments, other users with the app will receive a notification and can choose to sync your tagged photos with their personal library. Ireland’s data privacy watchdog was quick to raise objections, pointing out that users should be asked to opt-in to face-spotting, rather than – as Facebook launched it – with the functionality turned on by default.
Back in 2012, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner has carried out an audit of the providers offered by Facebook and it has taken vital challenge with the social media platforms’ function that instructed tag choices for footage.
At this point, Facebook doesn’t have a timeline for creating such a feature, the report notes.
Facial recognition has already thrown Facebook in hot water, now under investigation in Belgium and the Netherlands.
The tech giant has previously been in trouble over similar matters with the European regulators, as the company had to remove the facial recognition feature from its website. Earlier this week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (a digital rights nonprofit) and eight other privacy advocacy organizations withdrew from talks with United States law enforcement aimed at establishing a code of conduct for the use of the technology.
“Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain agreement even with that basic, specific premise”.
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