Facebook Facial Recognition Wants to Manage Your Identity

Ann Santiago
December 23, 2017

The new features are being rolled out in the face of growing pressure on the company from regulators in Europe, the US and elsewhere who have criticized Facebook for spreading fake news, fostering hate speech, eroding civil discourse and trampling privacy rights.

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.

Facebook lets the person posting a photo have the final say this way in order to deal with situations like public speaking events, where the speaker shouldn't have control over what's shared.

Facebook said it also plans to use facial recognition technology to notify users if someone else uploads a photo of them as their profile picture, which the company said may help reduce impersonations, as well as in software that describes photos in words for people who have vision loss, so that they can tell who is in a photo. 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.

Now, if you're in a photo and are part of the audience, Facebook will notify you, even if you aren't tagged.

Additionally, users can control whether Facebook can recognize them in photos and videos using facial recognition with an on/off switch. Users will need to change it to "Friends", and the Photo Review will be turned on.

Facebook users will be able to tag themselves in images posted elsewhere in the social network, or express concerns about pictures to people who post them, according to Mr. Candela.

Soon, the Facebook app will have an opt-in toggle for the facial recognition alert. The feature appears in Account settings, Timeline and tagging. He said if Facebook's system did not have high confidence in its identification of someone in a photo, it would leave them untagged.

"What we're doing with AI is making it possible for anybody to enjoy the experience", says 52-year-old King, who lost his sight in college due to a degenerative eye disease and now works at Facebook as an accessibility specialist. Facebook is also adding facial recognition for visually impaired people.

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