Facebook ramps up face recognition use
20 December 2017 16:59 GMT

Facebook has launched a new face recognition system that identifies people even if they haven't been "tagged". 

The new facial recognition feature will not apply to users in the European Union or Canada, where privacy regulators have prevented the use of such technology.

But critics say it could violate norms.

"We want people to feel confident when they post pictures of themselves on Facebook, so we'll soon begin using face recognition technology to let people know when someone else uploads a photo of them as their profile picture," Facebook said in a statement.

The feature, dubbed Photo Review will only notify someone who has been identified in an untagged photo  if they are in an "audience" of that photo. "

We always respect the privacy setting people select when posting a photo on Facebook (whether that’s friends, public, or a custom audience), so you won’t receive a notification if you’re not in the audience," the blog post says.

The only images that don't follow those rules are profile photos: those are considered public images, so you'll be notified if someone uses an image of you as their profile photo. This should help you identify fake accounts, like those of strangers trying to pose as you or steal your social media identity.

Indeed, according to Facebook, the new tool is designed to empower users by helping them control their image online. “We really thought this as a privacy feature for a long time. If someone posts a photo of you, you might not know about it,” Rob Sherman, Facebook’s head of privacy, told The Verge. “Now, the users can access the photo, and they can communicate to the person who posted it.”