Facebook’s facial recognition feature dubbed “tag suggestions” was introduced about two years ago. Since then, the functionality has been turned on by default at all times – sadly, the company never provided a way to opt-out.
However, since the $5bn fine by the FCC, the company has been slowly making changes to adapt the never-ending privacy criticism to stay off the radar. The company has announced this week that it is yanking out its tag suggestions feature.
However, facial recognition on the platform is not a feature of the past, yet. The company is removing tag suggestions, and in its place, an overall facial recognition feature will be rolled out, but this time, it will be turned off by default.
Facebook said the feature is already rolling out on the platform, and users will be notified when it arrives on their end. With the notification, users will be offered a way to turn the feature on.
But if you don’t act on the message, facial recognition will remain switched off.
“If you do not currently have the face recognition setting and do nothing, we will not use face recognition to recognize you or suggest tags,” said Facebook in a blog post.
“In addition, features like Photo Review, which lets you know when you appear in photos even if you are not tagged, as long as you have permission to see the post based on its privacy setting, will not be activated,” the statement continued.
For new users, the feature will also be turned off by default.
On matters of privacy…
Facebook’s Srinivas Narayanan, Lead of Applied Research in Facebook AI says they have continued to “engage with privacy experts, academics, regulators and people on Facebook about how we use face recognition and the options you have to control it.
Additionally, Srinivas says “Facebook’s face recognition technology still does not recognize you to strangers. We don’t share your face recognition information with third parties. We also don’t sell our technology.”