Facebook Expands Facial-Recognition Program

Freaking out a lot of people, Facebook on Tuesday announced the expansion of its facial-recognition program. Now, the tech titan can identify the presence of users in photos, even when they have not been technically “tagged” in those images.

Positioned as a service, Facebook says it can now alert members whenever other users uploads images of them.

After being notified, users can then tag themselves in the photo, or report the photo if they feel it to be inappropriate.

“You’re in control of your image on Facebook,” Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, director of applied machine learning at Facebook, notes in a new blog post.

In select regions, the feature will also work with profile photos.

Facebook on Tuesday also debuted a way for visually impaired people to know more about who is in the photos they encounter on the social network.



Two years ago, the company launched an automatic alt-text tool, which describes photos to people with vision loss. Wth face recognition, people that use screen readers will know who appears in photos in their News Feed, even if people aren’t tagged.

Facebook has used facial-recognition technology on its platform since 2010.

Acknowledging that the technology still makes many people uneasy, Facebook’s deputy Chief Privacy Officer Rob Sherman published his own blog post, on Tuesday, in which he tries to address users’ related concerns.

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