Facebook already lets its users tag their friends and other Facebook users in photos uploaded to the platform. While the social network does this to promote engagement and help people build connections, the company is now taking its facial recognition feature and deploying it more widely on the platform.
The feature called Photo Review will now notify users if their images are uploaded anywhere on the platform, even if the user has not been tagged in those images. The only criteria is that the user should be in the audience network of the person who uploads the image. So whether or not you are tagged in an image, if your face appears in any image within a common audience network, you will be alerted by Facebook.
The person uploading an image will get to choose the audience network, for instance - ‘Public’, ‘Friends’, ‘Friends Except’, ‘Specific Friends’, ‘Only Me’, and ‘Custom’. However, as per what Facebook told The Register, the audience network from which Facebook will extract your photos will be limited to ‘Friends’ and ‘Friends of Friends’. Photos uploaded to a ‘Public’ audience will not work with the Photos Review feature.
Users will have an option to turn the Photo Review suggestions on and off. “People gave us feedback that they would find it easier to manage face recognition through a simple setting, so we’re pairing these tools with a single “on/off” control. If your tag suggestions setting is currently set to “none,” then your default face recognition setting will be set to “off” and will remain that way until you decide to change it,” Facebook wrote in a blog post.
When a photo is sent to a user for review, the user can choose to tag themselves, save the photo, report the photo or share the photo externally. “We’re doing this to prevent people from impersonating others on Facebook,” explains Facebook.
Facebook is also going to use its facial recognition tech to help visually impaired people better recognise photos. The company says, “Two years ago, we launched an automatic alt-text tool, which describes photos to people with vision loss. 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.”