German Data Watchdog Threatens Action Against Facebook

Law360, New York (November 10, 2011, 1:20 PM EST) -- A German data protection agency said Thursday it was preparing to pursue legal action against Facebook Inc. for its alleged refusal to obtain existing users' consent for its facial recognition feature.

The Hamburg Data Protection Authority released a statement saying Facebook's use of the feature without user consent violated European and German data protection law. The feature, which Facebook calls “tag suggestions,” uses face-mapping technology to identify individuals in photos on the site.

The agency is exploring issuing a fine or prohibition order against the company,...
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