Facebook has launched a facial recognition feature called photo review that alerts users that someone uploaded a picture of them even without them being tagged.
As it is characteristic of Facebook if someone uploads a photo of your face to Facebook, the company usually knows that it’s you thanks to facial recognition technology.
However, from now not only Facebook would know it’s you, you will be notified about the photo too.
“We’re doing this to prevent people from impersonating others on Facebook,” the company wrote on its blog Tuesday.
The point of all this, according to Facebook, is to offer better privacy settings for people who use the service. It’s nice to know that a friend just uploaded an embarrassing photo of you, for example, even if you aren’t tagged in it.
But ensuring that users can’t impersonate someone else in their profile photo is also important in Facebook’s fight against so-called fake news. Alerting someone that another person is using their photo could result in better policing of inauthentic accounts.
The new feature rolled out to most of Facebook’s more than 2 billion global users this morning. It applies only to newly posted photos, and only those with privacy settings that make an image visible to you.
According to Facebook’s head of privacy, Rob Sherman, “We’ve thought about this as a really empowering feature.
“There may be photos that exist that you don’t know about.” However, Informing you of their existence is also good for Facebook: more notifications flying around means more activity from users and more ad impressions.
As part of the new feature, Facebook will also notify users if someone else attempts to use their photo in a profile. The company is also adding facial recognition to its service for visually impaired people that describes photos from friends in text.
Users who are not comfortable with the new feature can take advantage of a revamped privacy control Facebook also launched Tuesday to opt out. There is a version of the setting that allows you to turn off facial recognition.
According to Sherman, “We heard from people that they wanted it to be easy to choose whether to use these things or not.
“So if you want to turn this off, we think it should be really easy.”
Users will begin to get explanations as it pertains the new feature in their feeds from next week.