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