Facebook facial recognition updates settings for easy turn off and managing

The new tool will notify you when friends and mutual acquaintances upload

Facebook announced on Tuesday that it is releasing a new feature that uses facial recognition to determine when a photo of you has been uploaded, even if you weren't tagged. When you review the image that's been flagged, you'll be able to tag yourself in it, leave yourself untagged, or just contact the person who uploaded it. The facial recognition technology could help combat some abusive conduct on the network, the company said, although it may also raise additional privacy concerns. It's like that old thought experiment: if someone uploads a photo of you to Facebook but doesn't tag you in it, does it show up in engagement metrics?

The social network debuted new features on Tuesday meant to alert people when someone else has uploaded a photo of them, even if they weren't "tagged" in the photos with their real names.

Instead of asking users to give Facebook permission to use facial recognition for tagging purposes, which is what the company asks for now, users will now be asked to grant Facebook permission to use facial recognition broadly across the service. And for profile photos, users don't even need to have mutual friends to be sent a notification. "We're doing this to prevent people from impersonating others on Facebook", the company wrote on its blog Tuesday.

Fake accounts have been implicated in the spread of false information on Facebook as well as in some scams perpetrated on the network. Sherman said the company developed the features based on feedback from its users and its regular discussions with privacy experts, in an effort to create a system that is transparent to users.

The features also won't be available in Canada and the European Union, which have strict privacy laws.

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These will all roll out everywhere over the next few weeks except in Europe and Canada where privacy laws prohibit Facebook's facial recognition tech.

"If people have a hard time recognizing someone, then in those situations, computer vision will struggle too", he said. But Facebook tells me it has no plans to use facial recognition to enhance ad targeting or content relevancy sorting, like showing you more News Feed posts from friends who post untagged photos of you or ads related to locations where you appear in untagged photos.

"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 an announcement on Tuesday.

Facebook is also adding a new control that will allow people to turn off face recognition entirely if they're concerned about its privacy implications.

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