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Facebook Moments launches in Europe, Canada -- without facial recognition

New version of photo-sharing tool comes stripped-down to appease privacy concerns in those markets.


Nearly a year after Facebook Moments launched in the US, the private photo-sharing app has finally made its global debut -- but in a stripped-down version.

The version released in the US last June uses facial recognition to group together your photos based on the friends who are in them. You can then search by name to find photos of specific friends.

But the new version released Tuesday in Europe and Canada was modified to remove that feature to appease privacy concerns in these markets, according to TechCrunch. The new version can't automatically identify who is in the photos but rather groups together images that "appear to include the same face," Facebook told the site.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The new version debuts as Facebook finds itself embroiled in a new legal battle over the legality of storing biometric data mined from people's photographs. A group of Facebook users from Illinois accuses the social-networking giant of unlawfully using geometric representations of people's faces to create a faceprint for each of its users. Faceprints are then used to suggest tags for people when new photos are uploaded to the network.