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Here's why you can't get Facebook's latest photo app in Europe

Nick Summers, @nisummers
June 19, 2015
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Facebook has a sparkly new photo-sharing app called Moments, but you can't download it anywhere in Europe. At least, not without employing a sneaky workaround. The reason for its omission in the App Store and Google Play is tied to politics; back in 2012, Facebook was pressured by European data authorities to remove its "tag suggest" facial recognition feature from the social network. Since then it's never been fully restored and regulators haven't changed their stance. This causes problems for Moments, because the app works by scanning your camera roll and picking out the faces of your Facebook friends.

In Moments, other users with the app will receive a notification and can choose to sync your tagged photos with their personal library. These shared collections then produce albums tied to locations and events. So of course, without Facebook's facial recognition software, the app is pretty useless. Richard Allan, Facebook's head of policy in Europe, told the Wall Street Journal that the app could only be introduced if the company reaches a new deal with Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner. "Regulators have told us we have to offer an opt-in choice to people to do this," he says. "We don't have an opt-in mechanism so it is turned off until we develop one." Facebook says it doesn't have a timeline for implementing such a feature, so who knows when, if ever, Moments will make its European debut.

In this article: facebook, mobilepostcross
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