April 26, 2018

Facebook Facial Recognition Wants to Manage Your Identity

22 December 2017, 12:53 | Rudolph Thomas

A New Kind Of Secure! Facebook Unveils Facial Recognition

Facebook's New Facial Recognition Feature Is Unnerving Privacy Experts (and Maybe You Too)

Facial recognition technology has been a part of Facebook since at least 2010, when the social network began offering suggestions for whom to tag in a photo.

However, a Facebook spokesperson in an email told The Register that the Photo Review feature will only search photos from friends and from friends of friends. Additionally, Facebook has also launched a new feature for visually impaired people.

This new feature relies on facial recognition, and it's created to give users some peace of mind that photos of them are not circulating on the social network without them knowing about it. The new feature is largely an attempt to curb fake accounts and "catfishing", the act of using someone else's identity in an attempt to mislead others.

Soon, Facebook will release the on/off switch for individual features that use facial recognition technology, which by default will be set to "off" and will remain that way until users decide to change it.

"You're in control of your image on Facebook and can make choices such as whether to tag yourself, leave yourself untagged, or reach out to the person who posted the photo if you have concerns about it".

Spoiler alert: Those expecting a company that celebrates its facial recognition capabilities to answer, "Yes, be afraid", will be sorely disappointed.

Now that more and more tech companies are moving towards facial recognition technology, it can feel hard to escape the inevitable: that we have to trust these tech corporations with our faces, fingerprints, and more. Yet, privacy advocates are concerned that things could run out of control, and the tech could be used to detect Facebook users as they shop in brick-and-mortar stores. Countries which have not yet permitted the technology have voiced concerns about the facial recognition data, and how the company complies with various privacy laws overall. "The template is the reference we use to recognize you in photos".

"Once a person turns off face recognition we delete their template completely", Facebook's spokesperson said.

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