2012


Facebook Can ID Faces, but Using Them Grows Tricky

By Somini Sengupta and Kevin O'Brien, The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/22/technology/facebook-backs-down-on-face-recognition-in-europe.html?hp

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook on Friday confronted a new obstacle over what to do with one of its most vital assets — pictures.

The company promised European regulators that it would forgo using facial recognition software and delete the data used to identify Facebook users by their pictures.

The decision could have wide repercussions on how facial recognition technology — a particularly sensitive technological advance — is used globally as surveillance cameras are increasingly installed in public spaces.

“This is a big deal,” said Chris Hoofnagle, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley who specializes in online privacy.

“The development of these tools in the private sector directly affects civil liberties,” he explained. “The ultimate application is going to be — can we apply these patterns in video surveillance to automatically identify people for security purposes and maybe for marketing purposes as well?”

9/21/2012