Facebook announced a new optional feature on Tuesday that will alert you of photos posted on the social media platform that you're in, even if no one has tagged you in the photo. The company says that this will give users more control over how their images are being used on its service by letting them know when they have appeared in a picture on its site and then giving the options to tag themselves, leave themselves untagged, or to reach out to the person who uploaded the picture if concerned.
It builds on the existing machine learning and AI that powers another of Facebook's photo features, tagging suggestions.
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As optimistic as Facebook is about the new use case for its facial recognition technology, it also recognizes that this is not something that everyone is going to want to participate in.
The new features debuting will be available everywhere except Europe and Canada, where privacy regulators have previously raised objections to Facebook's auto photo tagging feature, Sherman said.
If you aren't in the audience, Candela says, you won't receive a notification. "We're doing this to prevent people from impersonating others on Facebook".
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Facebook is also planning to roll out a "simple on/off switch" to replace the settings for individual features that use face-recognition technology. The new system adds to that, identifying who specifically is in the image, even if they've not been manually tagged first.
Head into the settings and you'll find a new "on/off" toggle for Face Recognition. Although it does not appear to have been implemented yet, Facebook will soon allow users to turn off facial recognition on their accounts with a single switch. It's harder if the possible pool is more than a billion people, a.k.a. Facebook's entire user base.
Facebook already uses facial recognition to some extent. "We've also heard from groups that work with survivors of domestic violence that being able to see messages is often a valuable tool to assess if there is risk of additional abuse".