Facebook's facial recognition to identify users without being tagged

WASHINGTON: In a bid to allow users to exercise control over what's posted online related to themselves, social media giant Facebook announced the expansion of its facial recognition tool, to the extent of identifying users in photos, even when they've not been tagged in it.

Starting today, users will be notified when someone uploads a photo with them in it - even if they're not tagged. Subsequently, the user can choose to add their tag to the photo, or leave themselves untagged, or report the photo if they think it's inappropriate.

The new tool, the company says, will notify you when friends and mutual acquaintances upload photos you're tagged in. While the feature will also work with profile photos, it won't be available in Canada or the EU, where data laws restrict the use of facial recognition.

"We really thought this as a privacy feature for a long time. If someone posts a photo of you, you might not know about it. Now, the users can access the photo, and they can communicate to the person who posted it," Rob Sherman, Facebook's head of privacy.

While this would be an ideal situation to handle social media harassment, it could also prove to be a good way to cherish old memories and share the same with people of their choice.

Facebook says the new tool will also be used to improve its automatic text descriptions, which would tell visually impaired users not just what is in a picture, but also who.


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