Facebook is being probed by the Norwegian Data Protection Authority over concerns regarding its facial recognition tool that automatically suggests people's names to tag in pictures. Facebook started rolling out the Tag Suggestions feature worldwide in June 2011, and ever since has faced backlash from privacy groups in Europe.
When you upload new photos, Facebook uses software similar to that found in many photo editing tools to match your new photos to other photos you're tagged in. Similar photos are grouped together and, whenever possible, Facebook suggests the names of your friends in the photos. In other words, the square that magically finds faces in a photo also suggests names of your Facebook friends to streamline the tagging process, which can be especially useful when you have the same friends in multiple uploaded shots.
"It's a very powerful tool Facebook has and it's not yet clear how it all really works," Bjorn Erik Thon, Norway's data protection commissioner, told ... [Read more]