Behind the message about protecting your identity, though is a larger truth about Facebook's ability to reach into your personal business: The announcement means that Facebook's face-recognition technology is now so powerful that it can recognize you in any photo, anywhere, even if it has no other reason to expect to find your face in that photo.
They can review the post and then tag themselves, choose to leave themselves untagged or, if they are not comfortable with it, contact with the user who posted the photo to ask them to remove it, or file a complaint with Facebook, he said.
It builds on the existing machine learning and AI that powers another of Facebook's photo features, tagging suggestions. The company will also notify you if your face appears in somebody else's profile picture.
This would allow Facebook to implement more features that use facial recognition, such as account recovery, though that remains to be seen.
Facebook Inc. announced today that it will begin using its facial recognition technology to recognize users in any picture, whether they are tagged in it or not. It applies only to newly posted photos, and only those with privacy settings that make an image visible to you. Primarily among those is Facebook's photo privacy settings: if the person who uploaded the image didn't tag you, but also set the image to friends-only or a custom audience that doesn't include you, you won't get a notification about it. 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.
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Are you anxious about frenemies posting unflattering images of you on Facebook? When photos and videos are uploaded to Facebook, they are compared to images in the template to determine if there is a match.
The new feature rolled out to most of Facebook's more than 2 billion global users this morning. In fact, that's put Facebook afoul of state laws and using this technology is outright banned in Canada and Europe.
Facebook already uses facial recognition to some extent.
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.
"If someone is being harassed, blocking the abuser sometimes prompts additional harassment, particularly offline", Davis wrote.