Access to automatic facial recognition and other Facebook tools using Indect under real operating conditions
Question for written answer E-007769/2011
to the Commission
Franz Obermayr (NI)
A few weeks ago the social network Facebook rolled out a new tool which, when photographs are uploaded, runs facial recognition software and automatically suggests tags enabling users to identify people in the photographs by their names.
According to Facebook, biometric data have been gathered on a total of 450 million people in the site’s archive of 75 billion photographs.
This has been done without the consent — and sometimes without even the knowledge — of the users concerned!
Indect under real operating conditions is also intended to gather biometric data of individual persons and link them together; for that purpose it will likewise use facial recognition software.
1. According to the Commission’s replies to a number of questions, biometric data of persons taking part in Indect trials are collected if, and only if, those persons have given their prior written consent. Will prior written consent to biometric data gathering continue to be mandatory when Indect is used under real operating conditions?
2. Will Indect be used under real operating conditions to examine Facebook profiles and profiles on other social networks?
3. Will Indect be used under real operating conditions to access biometric data gathered while Facebook’s automatic facial recognition feature is running?
4. Will Indect be used under real operating conditions to access Facebook tools enabling a person’s current whereabouts to be determined by means of GPS?
OJ C 285 E, 21/09/2012