Facebook has announced that it is rolling out a new feature which leverages its facial recognition technology to tell you when it thinks you’ve appeared in a photo but haven’t been tagged. The company says that this will give users more control over how their images are being used on its service by letting them know when they have appeared in a picture on its site and then giving the options to tag themselves, leave themselves untagged, or to reach out to the person who uploaded the picture if concerned.
However, the company says it respects the privacy settings which its users decide on when posting the photo, and therefore, if you’re not in the audience set by the person uploading the picture, you won’t be notified that you’ve possibly appeared in that person’s photo.
With regards to other users impersonating you on the site, Facebook says:
“We want people to feel confident when they post pictures of themselves on Facebook so we’ll soon begin using face recognition technology to let people know when someone else uploads a photo of them as their profile picture. We’re doing this to prevent people from impersonating others on Facebook.”
Facebook is also introducing a feature that will help people with visual impairments; the company says that with the aforementioned facial recognition technology, people who use screen readers will know who appears in a photo in their News Feed even if people aren’t tagged. The new feature leverages the already existing automatic alt-text tool which the company introduced two years ago to describe pictures to those who have difficulty seeing them.
The new features are launching worldwide except in Canada and the European Union where Facebook currently doesn’t offer facial recognition technology.