Not many people know this but when an image is uploaded to Facebook, the platform scans it through a facial recognition algorithm. This week, Facebook announced it is rolling out its Facial Recognition settings to everyone. This means users will now be able to switch off automatic facial recognition scanning. But there’s a catch.
The new Facial Recognition setting will be turned on by default for new users. The existing millions of users will need to go into the settings and turn off the automatic image scan. Sneaky buggers.
Taking the ‘Face’ out of Facebook
The automatic scan was used to help teach the Tag Suggestions algorithm that makes up Facebook’s who’s who. It would notify a user if someone else uploaded an image of them, whether that person tagged you or not. The system would then offer to automatically tag the person it thinks is in the uploaded image. Now, if that isn’t creepy as hell, we don’t know what is.
Facebook will send current users a notification once the new Facial Recognition settings roll out — which should give everyone the option to turn it off. This will switch off the feature that lets you know when you appear in photos even if you are not tagged. This will (apparently) keep Facebook’s algorithms from scanning any more of the images you upload. Riiiight…
Access to these settings will roll out to all users over the next few weeks, according to The Verge. You’ll receive a notification that, when clicked, will take you straight to the relevant settings. Otherwise, you should be able to access the new setting under the ‘Privacy’ section of your profile.
Source: The Verge