Aiming to give users more control over their image, starting today, if you are in a photo or are part of a post, Facebook will alert you even if you have not been tagged. Users will be able to tag themselves, leave untagged or can report that photo if you have concerns.
The new features are powered by the same technology that the company uses to suggest friends you may want to tag in photos or videos. Facebook is pairing these tools with a single “on/off” control.
If your tag suggestions setting is currently set to “none,” then your default face recognition setting will be set to “off” and will remain that way until you decide to change it.
Soon using face recognition technology, Facebook will help you detect when others might be attempting to use your image as their profile picture. The company is doing this to prevent people from impersonating others on Facebook.
The social media giant is also introducing a way for visually impaired people to know more about who is in the photos they encounter on Facebook. Two years back, Facebook launched an automatic alt-text tool, which describes photos to people with vision loss. 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.
According to Facebook, since 2010, face recognition technology has helped bring people closer together on Facebook and their technology analyses the pixels in photos you are already tagged in and generates a string of numbers called a template. When photos and videos are uploaded to our systems, we compare those images to the template.
“We designed this as an on/off switch because people gave us feedback that they prefer a simpler control than having to decide for every single feature using face recognition technology,” Facebook said in a blog post.
The new tools are being rolled out to everyone, except to users in Canada and the EU where Facebook does not currently offer face recognition technology, due to data laws.