German Regulator Demands Facebook To Halt Facial Recognition

German privacy regulators have stated that Facebook’s new facial recognition programme violates federal and EU law and must be stopped in the country.

Privacy regulators have ordered the social networking giant to stop offering the service in Germany and delete any data it has collected up till now. The company stands to face fines of up to €300,000 if it fails to comply with its request.

The company has started a programme which scans the photos uploaded on Facebook and identifies the people in the photo using facial recognition software.

Facebook claims that the service will make it easier for people to tag friends, but privacy champions have pointed out that it poses grave privacy issues. The company allows people to opt out of the service should they wish to do so.

German privacy commissioner Johannes Caspar has written a letter to Facebook, demanding that it stops offering the service to German users.

“If the data were to get into the wrong hands, then someone with a picture taken on a mobile phone could use biometrics to compare the pictures and make an identification. The right to anonymity is in danger,” he said.

Facebook meanwhile, revealed that it was looking into the request made by Germany, but maintained that it was not breaking any European Union laws.