Germany Declares Facebook's Facial Recognition Illegal

Illustration for article titled Germany Declares Facebooks Facial Recognition Illegal

Although we think it's generally a pretty nifty feature, valid concerns over the misuse of Facebook's auto-recognition tagging have lead Germany to ban it entirely. That's right—Facebook in its current state is now illegal. Deep Scheiße, Zuckerberg.

The German government—which possesses perhaps the world's most adamant privacy laws as a result of Nazi and subsequent postwar abuse—considers The Book's facial recognition a violation of "the right to anonymity," The Atlantic Wire reports. Hard to imagine anyone saying that over here, isn't it?

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Unless Facebook makes sufficient changes—by making it easier for German users to delete their stored faces, or even disabling the feature entirely—they'll face up to $500,000 in fines. Which, really is absolutely nothing to Facebook. But the bad press—a powerful country declaring your website illegal—is probably worth a hell of a lot more than a half a million.

Facebook has two weeks to respond. They maintain they're not breaking any laws. [The Atlantic Wire]

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DISCUSSION

joergengeerds
Joergen Geerds

So, why doesn't Germany simply cut off the internet? After speaking with many Germans that live in Germany (I have left the country long time ago), it seems that many don't like the internet, nor do they understand what it is, or what to do with it... for them being "in/on the internet" is dangerous, and virtually none of my highschool classmates(20+ years post HS degree) can be found on the internet... together with Google's problems with streetview (selected buildings had to be blurred), and now that FB face recognition is illegal, the next step (or the one after that), would be protecting the privacy of the German citizens, and just cut off the internet completely (similar to the chinese firewall). You go Germany! Brieftauben und Postkutschen!