What the Tech: Facebook face identification

Local News

Facial recognition is now a full part of Facebook offered to all users.

Last year Facebook quietly rolled out facial recognition to some users. The feature allows Facebook to scan photo uploads from all users and identify a person who is in the photo whether they took it or not. It replaces the ‘tag suggestions’ you may have seen when posting a photo. It asks if you’d like to tag friends who are also in the picture.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Facebook announced the full rollout and says users can turn it off and that “off” is the default setting, but only for new Facebook accounts. Since most everyone you know is on Facebook now, that isn’t going to apply to many people.

Here’s how it works and how you can turn it off:

There may be hundreds of photos of you on Facebook, pictures you’ve taken and others your friends have taken. Facebook and other companies use biometrics to analyze every photo and place the correct name or profile to the photos. That means if someone is doing a Facebook Live in a big crowd, Facebook has the tools to identify each person (if they have a Facebook account) and could even tag them with their profile photo and link. Creepy?

Facebook isn’t doing that but it theoretically could. Facebook promises that it will protect your privacy and not share your profile or name with someone taking the photo unless you are Facebook friends.

To turn off Face Identification, just go to settings and you’ll see the option “Face Identification” in the column on the left. Click it and you can opt-in or opt-out.

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