Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

How to turn off Facebook's creepy new facial recognition feature

How to turn off Facebook's creepy new facial recognition feature How to turn off Facebook's creepy new facial recognition feature
June Sullivan | 20 December, 2017, 01:24

Facebook will soon start notifying users if they're in a photo and are part of the audience for that post, even if they haven't been tagged. Facebook is rolling out a new feature using its facial-recognition technology to help solve this problem. When enabled, notifications appear in your account when Facebook thinks it spotted you in a photo. It applies only to newly posted photos, and only those with privacy settings that make an image visible to you. Now, with face recognition, people who use screen readers will know who appears in photos in their News Feed even if people aren't tagged.

The new feature rolled out to most of Facebook's more than 2 billion global users this morning.

The objective of the feature, according to Facebook, is to help users better manage their online identity.

The feature, which is powered by Facebook's artificial intelligence technology, will alert users when someone else uploads a photo of them. Given that potential creepiness, and our longstanding interest in how People You May Know actually works, a Facebook spokesperson pre-emptively sent us a note about the facial recognition tool. When photos and videos are uploaded to our systems, we compare those images to the template.

Introduced two years ago, the technology recognises broad object categories like "trees" or "river" and will now be able to read out the names of people in the photos too, provided they Facebook users. That includes the United States but not Canada and Europe, where regulators have raised concerns about Facebook's existing facial recognition features and how the company complies with privacy laws.

"We're doing this to prevent people from impersonating others on Facebook", Candela wrote.

Sherman said that facial recognition has many positive uses, but he conceded that the technology can also be used "in concerning ways".

You won't be granted the same level of control over this feature as you get with Facebook's labyrinthine privacy settings, though, as the option merely comes with a "simple on/off switch" that will shut down the whole feature. Apple replaced its fingerprint reader with a facial recognition camera to unlock its latest iPhone, and also uses facial recognition to sort photos.

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