Facebook switches off photo ‘Tag Suggest’ feature in Europe

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Facebook Inc. said Friday it had switched off its photo “Tag Suggest” feature in Europe following a privacy investigation. Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes, who launched the probe because Facebook’s European operations are based in Ireland, said he was happy that the site had agreed to remove the tool in Europe by Oct. 15.

New users are already unable to access it. Hawkes said “I am satisfied that the review has demonstrated a clear and ongoing commitment” by Facebook’s Irish business “to comply with its data protection responsibilities.”

In a statement, Facebook said “in light of discussions with our regulator in Ireland, we have agreed to suspend the Tag Suggest feature in Europe.”

The company said it would work with the Irish authorities “on the appropriate way to obtain user consent for this kind of technology under European rules”.