Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, director of applied machine learning at Facebook, notes that if you are in a photo and are part of the audience for the post, you'll now be notified, even if you haven't been tagged. The alerts make it easier for users to tag themselves if they like the photo, but they also allow users to contact the uploader of the photo if they have a problem with it. Facebook said the new feature can also protect users from online impersonators by spotting people who are attempting to use the same profile picture.
However, the company says it respects the privacy settings which its users decide on when posting the photo, and therefore, if you're not in the audience set by the person uploading the picture, you won't be notified that you've possibly appeared in that person's photo. If you're a little sensitive about how often you show up in pics on the internet, Facebook has a new privacy tool that may interest you.
Soon, the Facebook app will have an opt-in toggle for the facial recognition alert. If someone is trying to use your photo as a profile picture, Facebook will give you a notification.
The new settings will appear on Facebook platforms everywhere, with the exception of Canada and the European Union, where the company doesn't offer facial recognition. The company already uses facial recognition to suggest friends to tag in photos by scanning the photo for faces already stored in its system.
More information on Facebook's use of facial recognition can be found by visiting the help center.
These new additions expand on how Facebook already uses facial recognition, which is primarily through "tag suggestions" - a feature started in 2010 that suggests which of your friends should be tagged in photos that you upload to the site.
The new feature, which Facebook frames as a control measure for a user's image, is one of three new applications of facial recognition technology the company announced Tuesday.
"We're doing this to prevent people from impersonating others on Facebook", Candela wrote. The post is titled: " Hard Questions: Should I Be Afraid of Face Recognition Technology? . "We've also heard from groups that work with survivors of domestic violence that being able to see messages is often a valuable tool to assess if there is risk of additional abuse".