A New Kind Of Secure! Facebook Unveils Facial Recognition

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It will also notify even when users appear in someone else's profile picture.

In its newest feature, announced on Tuesday, social media giant Facebook disclosed that it can now let you know when a photo of you has been posted - even if you don't get tagged in the photo.

In other words, Facebook users might still appear in other users' photos and not be aware of it, depending on the audience limitations and whether or not the people are friends on Facebook.

This new feature relies on facial recognition, and it's created to give users some peace of mind that photos of them are not circulating on the social network without them knowing about it. The feature appears in Account settings, Timeline and tagging.

The California-based company was also putting the technology to work to give visually impaired people more information about images at Facebook.


Soon, Facebook will release the on/off switch for individual features that use facial recognition technology, which by default will be set to "off" and will remain that way until users decide to change it.

"You're in control of your image on Facebook and can make choices such as whether to tag yourself, leave yourself untagged, or reach out to the person who posted the photo if you have concerns about it", said Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, director of applied machine learning at Facebook, in a blog post. After switching it on, it will recognize your photos on Facebook and will notify you.

"Powered by the same technology we've used to suggest friends you may want to tag in photos or videos, these new features help you find photos that you're not tagged in and help you detect when others might be attempting to use your image as their profile picture", Facebook explains.

Facebook had launched an automatic alt-text tool two years ago, which describes photos to people with vision loss. Since new facial recognition technology is now being added to devices and applications everywhere - Apple's iPhone X is the ideal example here - it comes as no great surprise that Facebook would be next to incorporate some kind of facial scanning in its own platform.

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