"Our technology analyzes the pixels in photos you're already tagged in and generates a string of numbers we call a template", said Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, Facebook's director of Applied Machine Learning, in the blog post.
These new features are powered by the same face-recognition technology Facebook uses to suggest friends you might want to tag in photos and videos. The exception to this rule, however, is if someone uploads a photo of you as their profile picture.
You will only be notify if the post was shared with you. Now, with face recognition, people who use screen readers will know who appears in photos in their News Feed even if people aren't tagged. It may allow you to remove this feature for other people and yourself, but Facebook hasn't earned any trust on this issue.
The goal of the feature, according to Facebook, is to help users better manage their online identity.
The new tools are the latest from Facebook as it tries to make the social network safer and more enjoyable for users.
Facebook introduces new facial recognition and privacy features
You control whether Facebook can recognize you in photos and videos. The goal of the scanning, according to Facebook, is to alert you if someone has publicly uploaded a photo of you that you don't know about, especially if they are trying to impersonate you.
Facebook is also using facial recognition to create new tools for those with visual impairments.
Soon, the Facebook app will have an opt-in toggle for the facial recognition alert. You'll be able to find the on/off switch in Settings under Face Recognition, which will disable the notifications.
The new features are being rolled out in the face of growing pressure on the company from regulators who have criticised Facebook for spreading fake news, fostering hate speech, eroding civil discourse and trampling privacy rights. By looking at photos from an event, for example, and identifying the faces, Facebook could know everybody who was there and know they might be connected.
Facebook jumped ahead of potential privacy fears today with another of its Hard Questions posts, addressing some of the concerns users might have over the social network's growing use of facial recognition technology.
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