The social media giant, Facebook has rolled out the latest feature on Tuesday that will notify users on the social network when others upload photos of them. The feature will perform this action using facial recognition technology. Users, however, will have to give consent to Facebook to keep a facial template to use this feature.
According to Facebook, it was making the feature optional to allow people to protect their privacy, but that it thought some people would want to be notified of pictures they might not otherwise know about.
Unfortunately, the newbie feature would not immediately be available in Canada and the European Union. Privacy laws are generally stricter in those jurisdictions, though the company said it was hopeful about implementing the feature there in the future.
The tech giants nowadays are putting in place a variety of functions using facial recognition technology, despite the concerns about how the facial data could be used. In September, Apple Inc revealed that users of its new iPhone X would be able to unlock the device using their face.
Facebook also plans to use facial recognition technology to notify users if someone else uploads a photo of them as their profile picture, which the company said may help reduce impersonations, as well as in software that describes photos in words for people who have vision loss, so that they can tell who is in a photo.
Facebook has been using Facial recognition technology since at least 2010. The time when the social network began offering suggestions for whom to tag in a photo. That feature also is optional.
Once you opted in, Facebook creates what it calls a template of your face by analyzing pixels from photos where you’re already tagged. It then compares newly uploaded images to the template.
Facebook deletes the template of anyone who then opts out, Rob Sherman, Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer, said in a statement.
Users who have opted in would get a notification from Facebook if a photo of them has been uploaded, although only if the photo is one they have access to.
The company plans to add an “on/off” switch to allow users to control all Facebook features related to facial recognition, Sherman said. “We thought it was important to have a really straightforward way of controlling facial recognition technology,” he said.