The new Facebook facial recognition feature is created to detect when users appear in other people's photos, even if they're not tagged, and notify them so they can manage the situation.
However, a Facebook spokesperson in an email told The Register that the Photo Review feature will only search photos from friends and from friends of friends.
Privacy experts argue that since Facebook is poised to beef up its facial recognition powers, it should also become more transparent about such decisions. You can also make choices such as whether to tag yourself, leave yourself untagged, or reach out to the person who has posted the photo or report it to Facebook.
Facebook will notify users when they appear in someone's photo, even if they're not tagged, as long as they are part of the selected audience for that post or if the post in question is set to public.
According to Facebook, the facial recognition technology will work by analyzing the pixels in photos the user is already tagged in.More news: Fooling Windows 10 facial authentication with a photo
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Announcing the alerts feature, the company admitted that... Countries which have not yet permitted the technology have voiced concerns about the facial recognition data, and how the company complies with various privacy laws overall.
Facebook will soon roll out these new features in all the countries where Facebook is used except in Canada and the European Union where the social networking giant now doesn't offer facial recognition technology. Yet, privacy advocates are concerned that things could run out of control, and the tech could be used to detect Facebook users as they shop in brick-and-mortar stores.
The Register asked Facebook's spokesperson whether turning facial recognition off would have any retroactive effect, like removing facial recognition data from machine learning models or otherwise making previous facial recognition hits inaccessible to company systems.
A picture illustration shows a Facebook logo reflected in a person's eye, in Zenica, March 13, 2015. "The template is the reference we use to recognize you in photos".