Facebook's New Facial Recognition Feature Finds You in Untagged Photos

Facebook's New Facial Recognition Feature Finds You in Untagged Photos

Facebook's New Facial Recognition Feature Finds You in Untagged Photos

The tools also come as former executives have raised concern about how much time we spend on Facebook and what it is doing to our society.

Behind the message about protecting your identity, though is a larger truth about Facebook's ability to reach into your personal business: The announcement means that Facebook's face-recognition technology is now so powerful that it can recognize you in any photo, anywhere, even if it has no other reason to expect to find your face in that photo. The company already uses facial recognition to suggest friends to tag in photos by scanning the photo for faces already stored in its system. "Our technology analyzes the pixels in photos you're already tagged in and generates a string of numbers we call a template", said Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, Facebook's director of Applied Machine Learning, in the blog post.

If you're one of those poor saps who often gets told you look like someone else, get ready for a barrage of notifications from Facebook saying someone uploaded a photo of you. Users can tailor who sees a post - friends, public or a custom audience.

Facebook Inc. announced today that it will begin using its facial recognition technology to recognize users in any picture, whether they are tagged in it or not. The objective of the scanning, according to Facebook, is to alert you if someone has publicly uploaded a photo of you that you don't know about, especially if they are trying to impersonate you.

"The words "face recognition" can make some people feel uneasy, conjuring dystopian scenes from science fiction", wrote Rob Sherman, Facebook's deputy chief privacy officer.

But Facebook doesn't shy from explaining that this service could also be used to catch people who are using photos for less-than-wholesome purposes, such as using your photo as their Facebook profile photo. Facebook has a long, very unfortunate history of keeping what you delete and making getting it off Facebook as hard as humanly possible.

While now able to identify most users in head-on photos, the technology won't recognise people whose faces are obscured, in shadow or at unusual angles.

Facebook will also allow users to ignore a conversation in Messenger and move it out of your inbox without having to block the sender. "The person who blocked the original account is in control, and must initiate contact with the new account in order for them to interact normally".

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