Facebook recently announced that it’s making its facial recognition feature available to all users but will keep it an an opt-in by default.
“Our face recognition setting lets you manage not only whether Facebook uses face recognition technology on photos of you in order to suggest tags; it provides an easy on or off switch for a broader set of uses of face recognition, such as helping you protect your identity on Facebook”, writes Srinivas Narayanan, Applied Research Lead, Facebook AI.
Facebook’s Facial recognition setting was first rolled out back in 2017 under the name “tag suggestions” when it would only use face recognition technology to automatically suggest tags of your friends in photos. However, now Face Recognition will be turned off by default, and you will be notified regarding the same in your News Feed where you can turn it on if you want to. Moreover, the notice will include information surrounding the new features and options to help users learn more about how Facebook implements face recognition. If you do not currently have the face recognition setting Facebook will not use face recognition to recognize you or suggest tags. Other features including Photo Review that notifies you when you appear in photos even if you are not tagged will also stay deactivated. You can spot the new feature in the Facebook settings menu.
“We’ve continued to engage with privacy experts, academics, regulators and people on Facebook about how we use face recognition and the options you have to control it,” saysNarayanan. Given that Facebook has received heavy backlash in the past over privacy related issues, this move by the tech giant seems to be headed in the right direction