Managing your identity on Facebook will soon be a bit easier thanks to facial recognition.
Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, director of applied machine learning at Facebook, notes that if you are in a photo and are part of the audience for the post, you’ll now be notified, even if you haven’t been tagged. Users will then have the option of tagging themselves, remaining untagged or reaching out to the person who posted the photo if there are concerns.
If you aren’t in the audience, Candela says, you won’t receive a notification. The exception to this rule, however, is if someone uploads a photo of you as their profile picture. The idea is to prevent people from impersonating others on the social network.
The new feature is based on the same technology Facebook has used to suggest friends you may want to tag in photos or videos. The tech analyzes 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 Facebook, they are compared to images in the template to determine if there is a match.
Facebook is also using facial recognition to create new tools for those with visual impairments. Thanks to the technology, people that use screen readers will know who appears in photos that show up in their News Feed, even if people aren’t tagged.
Facebook’s use of facial recognition will be governed by an on / off switch. This approach was preferred by users over having settings for individual features that use facial recognition, Candela said.
More information on Facebook’s use of facial recognition can be found by visiting the help center.