An illustration picture shows the log-on screen for Facebook. Reuters/Michael Dalder
Social networking giant Facebook has turned off its controversial facial recognition feature for users across Europe.
The tool took biometric information provided when users tag friends' faces in photos to make suggestions on the correct tags for future images.
Facebook was criticised when it introduced the feature last June without formally announcing its arrival on the site.
Privacy campaigners were particularly disturbed since Facebook allows photographs to be published on its site without the express permission, or even knowledge of those pictured, the Daily Mail reports.
According to the paper, the removal of the feature and the forced deletion of all the biometric data will be a major blow to the company, which is facing demands to find new ways to convert its vast hoard users' personal information into cash.
Facebook announced last month that it would suspend the feature across Europe and erase all the biometric facial-recognition data it has collected thus far from users on the continent by October 15.
According to the paper, the move followed a review by Facebook Ireland of the degree to which the social networking site had implemented recommendations made in an audit of the social networking site by the Irish Data Protection Commission last December.