Actually, we are all more or less familiar with the fact that Facebook uses Face Recognition technology to suggest friends to tag in photos we upload. But recently, Facebook has expanded this feature and broadened its functions furthermore,

  • to find photos you’re in but haven’t been tagged
  • to help protect you from strangers using your photo without your knowledge and
  • to tell the people with visual impairments who’s in your photo or video.

This technology has now paved way to reduce fraudulent fake accounts which use someone else’s photo as theirs and misuse it. And the cherry on the top is that YOU control this feature as to whether you want Facebook to scan every photo uploaded and notify you when a photo of yours is on Facebook — or not.

But How does Facebook manage to do all these kind of things? Well, when you enable either the Tag Suggestions or Facial Recognition, Facebook’s machine learning algorithm analyses each and every pixels in your profile picture and the images you were already tagged in and creates a Template of your face, which is technically just a string of numbers. Using this Template, whenever a new photo is uploaded, it compares the faces in the uploaded photo and the Template and notifies whether you are in a photo or not. Not really a piece of cake stuff!

If Tag suggestion is on or Set to a friend, then Facial Recognition automatically turns on. The same way, when Tag suggestion is turned off, Facial Recognition is disabled too. When the feature is disabled, the Template created using the pixels found in your image is also deleted. So no need to worry about privacy and security, though some people might feel like this feature is already a breach of privacy. So those who don’t feel comfortable with Face Recognition can easily opt-out this feature by following the steps given in the picture.

Surprisingly, this feature has not yet been allowed in Canada and European Union due to their strict rules about collecting facial data.May be those people who feel skeptical are right about Facebook gleaning more and more bio-metric information about ourselves, or may they are wrong. But there’s no denying that technology can be a boon and a bane at the same time.