Home Social Media Facebook introduces facial recognition, but it isn’t automatically enabled

Facebook introduces facial recognition, but it isn’t automatically enabled

Face recognition facility was available for limited users since December 2017 and notified the account holders if someone else uses their picture or if they appear in photos where they have not been tagged.

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Social media giant Facebook said it is now offering facial recognition features to all of its users but says it will keep the capabilities turned off by default. It added that it is discontinuing a related feature called ‘Tag Suggestions’.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Facebook added that facial recognition would be off for all new users unless they opt to turn it on as well as for existing users who do nothing in response to a forthcoming alert about the new settings. This means facial recognition will not be used by default to recognize a user in photos or videos or to suggest their friends tag them in such content.

Face recognition facility was available for limited users since December 2017 and notified the account holders if someone else uses their picture or if they appear in photos where they have not been tagged. The old feature enabled users to choose whether Facebook could suggest that their friends tag them in photos, without giving them control over other uses of the technology.

Facebook asserted those who do not have the facility would soon receive a notice in their news feed about their change, along with an option to keep it off or turn it on.

Tag suggestions, which used face recognition only to suggest a user to tag friends in the photo, has been at the center of the privacy-related lawsuit since 2015. The users had accused the social media giant of violating the state’s biometric data of millions of users without their consent.

Last month, a federal appeals court rejected Facebook’s efforts to undo the class-action status of the lawsuit.

“We have always disclosed our use of face recognition technology and that people can turn it on or off at any time,” Facebook said last month.

The company said it continues to engage with privacy experts, academics, regulators and its users on how it uses face recognition and the options users have to control it.

Read more: Cashless shopping: China is using facial recognition to pay

Facebook asserted those who do not have the facility would soon receive a notice in their news feed about their change, along with an option to keep it off or turn it on.

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