Facebook roundup: facial recognition policy, director of engineering, Twitter sync, PMD announcements and more

Facebook removes facial recognition in EU, addresses other concerns – Per recommendations from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, which has audited Facebook policies and practices, Facebook has removed the facial recognition feature that made suggestions for who to tag in a photo. The Data Protection Commissioner says Facebook has nearly complied with all recommendations and has plans to address any remaining issues by a set deadline.

Facebook hires new director of engineering from Netflix – The former vice president of product engineering at Netflix, John Ciancutti, has joined Facebook as director of engineering, according to his LinkedIn profile. The news, first reported by AllThingsD, suggests some reorganization at Facebook. When Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor announced his departure in June, Director of Engineering Mike Vernal and Director of Mobile Engineering Cory Ondrejka were said to be leading in his absence. Facebook has not yet announced a new CTO.

Hearsay Social brings social compliance to Salesforce – Hearsay Social this week announced Hearsay Social Cloud Compliance for Salesforce, enabling financial services, healthcare and retail organizations to use social enterprise tools in the cloud while adhering to industry regulations and corporate governance. Hearsay Social Cloud Compliance for Salesforce includes FINRA, SEC, FTC, IIROC, FSA and FDA compliance coverage across the Salesforce.com Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud and Chatter. It will be available on Salesforce.com’s AppExchange.

Facebook and other Internet companies create collective lobbying group – Facebook joins Google, eBay, Amazon.com, Zynga, Yahoo and others in a new U.S. lobbying group called The Internet Association “dedicated to strengthening and protecting a free and innovative Internet.” The Next Web notes that Microsoft and Apple are not part of the trade association.

Facebook asks users for help identifying fake names – Some Facebook users are being prompted to let the social network know whether a friend is using a fake name. A Facebook spokesperson told The Next Web, “We are always looking to gauge how people use Facebook and represent themselves to better design our product and systems. We are showing people information that their friends have made available to them and we indicate to the person taking the survey that their response will be anonymous to ensure them that we are not sharing their data with anyone and only looking to understand the results in an aggregate sense. Additionally, it is important to understand that we will not be using this data for enforcement actions.”

Twitter prompts users to post tweets to Facebook – Some Twitter users this week saw a prompt on the homepage of Twitter.com suggesting that they connect their account with Facebook and post tweets to the social network. We wonder whether this is further evidence that a new Open Graph integration is on the way.

Optimal releases free tools for exploring Facebook keywords and topics – Social media data provider and ads performance company Optimal this week released OptimalExplorer, which creates a visual web of topic relationships on Facebook for free. The company has also opened up its Keyword Expander, which lets advertisers discover better audiences to target on Facebook, to provide users with the top 15 results for each query at no cost.

Syncapse launches Facebook ad budget calculator – Social business platform Syncapse introduced the Syncapse Ads 2013 Facebook Media Spend Calculator (Beta), a free planning tool to recommend an optimal budget mix for achieving fan communication, friends-of-fans communication and flighted campaigns. The calculator prioritizes fan communication and friends-of-fans communication as “always on” strategies but makes room for flighted campaigns surrounding a particular marketing or promotional opportunity.