large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Facebook confirms facial recognition feature in Europe for US pals

UPDATE: Facebook has reached out to us to confirm that this “tag suggest” feature has always been present for EU users.

Facebook will suggest photo tags to users uploading pocture to the social media site in the EU. But, it will only happen if their friends are based in the US and those friends have the tag suggest functionality enabled for their profiles.

This isn’t a new feature for EU users, but is something that has been around for some time.

The tag suggest feature is still disabled in the UK and Europe, so it only works if you’re trying to tag your friends in the US.

Original Story: Facebook has risked re-opening the facial recognition debate, by allowing users in Europe to use its ‘tag suggest’ technology to identify their friends in the United States.

The social network scratched its controversial photo tagging technology in the EU in 2012 after an outcry from governments and privacy campaigners in the region.

However, the tag suggest tech is still enabled in the US, despite similar campaigns, and Facebook appears to have taken advantage of a loophole in order to partially reinstate the feature in Europe.

When uploading a picture Facebook users are given the option to use tag suggest if the person recognised has their account based in the United States and only if tag suggest is enabled on that person’s account.

Facebook is still unable to use its knowledge of its users’ facial make-up in order to suggest tags for anyone based in Europe, but today’s update appears to narrow the gap between the company’s policies in the US and the UK.

The change, first spotted by TechCrunch in Germany and the UK, was confirmed by Facebook to a reporter from The Next Web blog.

Are you concerned Facebook may be attempting to reintroduce the feature, to its fullest extent? Do you believe the outcry in Europe was way over the top?

Let us know your thoughts on the facial recognition debate in the comments below.

Read more: Kinect facial recognition tech explained

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.