Facebook says it will no longer use its face recognition technology to identify users' friends uploaded in photos. Up until now, Facebook allowed itself to identify your friends uploaded in your photos using face recognition and automatically to suggest you to 'tag' them. Instead, Facebook now wants to replace its tag suggestions feature with its broader face recognition setting, which is used to identify people in various other use cases as well. Here is how Facebook wants to go ahead with its face recognition.
New Facebook users will receive the face recognition setting, which they can turn on. Face recognition setting will be off by default. Facebook users who had the tag suggestions setting turned off will see a notice about face recognition and a button to turn it on or keep it off. Facebook was sued in Illinois over the tag suggestion feature and a federal appeals court has ruled the lawsuit can proceed. Facebook has detailed its implementation in its blog post
People with the tag suggestions setting enabled should see a notice in their news feed. Facebook has also been pushing out a notification, which reads: "The face recognition setting is now available to you". Facebook hopes that it should help its users learn how it works and how the company uses face recognition. The company said that a new option would be available for users so that they can disable the settings.
"People who newly join Facebook or who previously had the tag suggestions setting will have the face recognition setting and will receive information about how it works. The tag suggestions setting, which only controls whether we can suggest that your friends tag you in photos or videos using face recognition will no longer be available," said Srinivas Narayanan, Applied Research Lead, Facebook AI.
Facebook has also made it clear that it won't be using face recognition or any related data in case you don't have the face recognition setting available. Besides, features like Photo Review will not be activated. Facebook users can still manually tag friends. However, Facebook won't suggest your friends tag you in any photo unless you have had face recognition turned on. In case you already have the face recognition setting, you won’t receive a notice.
Facebook reiterated that it takes all your privacy seriously and doesn't share your face recognition information with third parties. The company also said it has been working with privacy experts, academics, regulators and people on how it uses face recognition. Facebook said that it had taken enough steps to update the Settings clearer and users will have an option opt-out of the settings. Also, users need not go to a separate screen to turn off the setting. They can do it from the notice itself.