Facebook using facial recognition to find photos you're not tagged in

Facebook has made it plain that in no circumstances will the facial recognition feature reveal your identity to a stranger and will update controls based on user feedback around the feature

The feature likely won't be as annoying as described above, as Facebook's announcement post claims it only notifies you if "you're in a photo and part of the audience for that post", which presumably means if it was taken by a friend or a friend of a friend.

Facebook announced that it will start using its facial recognition technology to find photos of you across its site, even if you aren't tagged in those photos.

An additional feature will also inform users if anyone across the entire social network tries to post a profile picture containing them, Joaquin Candela, Facebook's director of applied machine learning, said. It applies only to newly posted photos, and only those with privacy settings that make an image visible to you.

Meanwhile, Facebook is also introducing a feature that will tell visually impaired users with screen readers who appear in the photos in their News Feed, even if those people aren't tagged.

That, at least, is the worst-case scenario for Facebook's latest feature, which automatically notifies you if anyone uploads a photo that looks like you're in it. Given that potential creepiness, and our longstanding interest in how People You May Know actually works, a Facebook spokesperson pre-emptively sent us a note about the facial recognition tool. When a new photo or video shows up on Facebook, it is compared to the template to determine who it is.




Soon, the Facebook app will have an opt-in toggle for the facial recognition alert.

You won't be granted the same level of control over this feature as you get with Facebook's labyrinthine privacy settings, though, as the option merely comes with a "simple on/off switch" that will shut down the whole feature.

We are introducing these new features in most places, except in Canada and the European Union where we don't now offer face recognition technology. The social network doesn't use facial-recognition technology in those regions, due to wariness from privacy regulators. By looking at photos from an event, for example, and identifying the faces, Facebook could know everybody who was there and know they might be connected.

"We are now using various signals (like an IP address) to help us proactively recognize this type of account and prevent its owner from sending a message or friend request to the person who blocked the original account", Antigone Davis, Facebook's global head of safety, wrote in a post .

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