Facebook expands its use of facial recognition technology

Facebook expands its use of facial recognition technology

Facebook expands its use of facial recognition technology

Using facial recognition software, Facebook can detect when you appear in media on its service whether or not you have been tagged.

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.

And that, in turn, means Facebook has a new powerful tool for mapping who knows who on the social network. For other photos, you'll only get notified if you're in the audience for that photo so as to protect the uploader's privacy and not alert you about photos you're not allowed to see.

The feature, which is powered by Facebook's artificial intelligence technology, will alert users when someone else uploads a photo of them. That includes the United States but not Canada and Europe, where regulators have raised concerns about Facebook's existing facial recognition features and how the company complies with privacy laws.

Just a heads up.

Facebook expands its use of facial recognition technology
Facebook expands its use of facial recognition technology

"The words "face recognition" can make some people feel uneasy, conjuring dystopian scenes from science fiction", wrote Rob Sherman, Facebook's deputy chief privacy officer. If you've already opted out of that feature, you will also be automatically opted out of the new facial recognition features. However, Facebook notes that if your tag suggestions setting is now set to "none", then your default face recognition setting will be set to "off" and will remain that way until you decide to change it.

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. Face recognition will allow people who use screen readers to know who appears in photos in their News Feed even if people aren't tagged.

"Some may criticize this as an "all or nothing" approach, but we believe this will prevent people from having to make additional decisions among potentially confusing options", said Sherman. The post is titled: " Hard Questions: Should I Be Afraid of Face Recognition Technology? .

While now able to identify most users in head-on photos, the technology won't recognise people whose faces are obscured, in shadow or at unusual angles.

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