The Article 29 Working Party (WP29) yesterday published an opinion on facial recognition in online and mobile services.  The WP29 states this technology requires “specific attention” as it presents “a range of data protection concerns”. 

The opinion focuses on facial technology being used in three main contexts: identifying people in social networks; authenticating and verifying users to control access to services; and categorising individuals, e.g., in the gaming context to enhance the user experience, allow/deny access to age-related content, or to display in-game targeted advertising. 

The opinion places a heavy emphasis on the need to obtain the informed consent of individuals prior to processing their data in connection with facial recognition technologies.  Perhaps of most interest to social networks and the public, is the conclusion that facial recognition should not be used to automatically suggest names of people who are not registered users of social networks for the purpose of tagging them in photographs.

Continue Reading Facial Recognition Opinion Targets Social Networks, Authentication Services and Games Consoles

Smartphone Location Data

Last week two UK-based researchers revealed that Apple iPhones record location-based data in an unencrypted file stored on each phone. The information, gleaned from WiFi routers and cellular towers within the phone’s signal range, has been collected without the knowledge of the phones’ owners, and would allow Apple to track each phone’s