Facebook’s latest standalone app Moments won’t be making its way to Europe due to privacy concerns.
The app, which uses facial recognition technology to identify faces and group photos accordingly, is being restricted from the European Union because of the lack of an opt-in function. Since Moments lacks such a feature, Facebook decided against releasing it there following concerns raised by Irish regulators.
The EU is increasingly adopting many more privacy-friendly data regulations than the United States or Canada. Earlier this week, long-awaited personal data rules finally began making their way through the European parliament that, while making customers’ information more difficult for marketers and government to access, would cause major logistical issues for companies like Google, Facebook, Dropbox, and Amazon. In the U.S., a host of pro-privacy groups walked out of negotiations with the tech industry due to concerns that the privacy controls being discussed wouldn’t properly protect citizens from facial recognition technology.
The release of the Moments app was largely a proof-of-concept by Facebook to showcase how its technology could be applied to friends and families. Similar technology was recently unveiled by Google in its new Photos app, and in Yahoo’s recent relaunch of Flickr.