The social giant Facebook wants you to know and control photos that have you inside of them, even when you're not tagged.
With a facial recognition feature called Photo Review, Facebook can alert you when your face shows up on a newly posted photo.
Then the decision is yours: you can tag yourself in it, leave it as it is, or ask the uploader to remove the photo.
With Facebook having more than two billion users uploading almost countless of photos and videos every single day, the feature should give users confidence that there won't be any of their pictures floating around Facebook they don't know about.
This feature targets photos that are shared to public. Once the facial recognition recognizes you in a photo uploaded by someone, you will be notified. But if the uploader's privacy isn't allowing public viewers to see your photos, you won't get notified.
To manage those things, Facebook is introducing a Photo Review section of the profile where you can keep track of all your untagged but recognized photos.
According to Rob Sherman, Facebook’s head of privacy:
Sherman also said that the tool could be a prompt for nostalgia, alerting people about photos they've forgotten.
And if you're worried about Facebook in intruding your privacy with the feature, you can opt out. This will make Facebook remove your face template and deactivate the Photo Review feature as well as the old Tag Suggestions feature.
Not just the facial recognition can ease you in finding photos you're not tagged in, the feature also assists the vision impaired users. With Photo Review, Facebook's machine learning can describe what's inside a photo, and can also read aloud names of untagged friends.
While this facial recognition notification can certainly help users, allowing them to keep track of photos of themselves that float around Facebook, it could also be used to harass or bully people.
Users will be notified even when they appear in photos uploaded by someone they’re not friends with. They need to simply have a friend in common for the feature to work. What this means, a harasser who isn’t able to directly message their target, could upload a picture with them in it (real or Photoshopped). To make things worse, abusers can also include harassment, hate or abusive jokes.
You can however report it to Facebook if you find any of the suggested photos inappropriate.
The feature is rolling out to all users, except for those living in Europe and Canada where privacy laws restrict Facebook's facial recognition technology to make a template of users' faces.