Research Fellow at the European University Institute
Mathias is a Research Fellow at the European University Institute Florence and the Centre for Law, Science, Technology & Society Studies at Vrije Universiteit Brussel on civil liberties in a digital era and EU security policies.
In 1999, a young technology company called Google was brainstorming a mission statement for the corporation. A series of core principles were written on a blackboard, until one employee summarized them as ‘Don’t be evil’. The slogan became a rallying cry for Google’s fans, and a way to distinguish it from other companies, but what does it actually mean for a technology company to avoid 'evil’?
On the 2nd of August 2011 the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information has called on Facebook to delete the feature on the social networking site that automatically recognizes facial features and "tags" users when others upload photos of them. According to the local German data protection authority the feature is a violation of local and European data protection laws, and Facebook should adapt the feature to European data protection law or suspend the use of the facial recognition technology.