Facebook says it wants your face data in the name of privacy

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Behind the message about protecting your identity, though is a larger truth about Facebook's ability to reach into your personal business: The announcement means that Facebook's face-recognition technology is now so powerful that it can recognize you in any photo, anywhere, even if it has no other reason to expect to find your face in that photo.

When a photo of you has been posted, you will be alerted and given the option to tag yourself, leave yourself untagged or contact the person who posted the photo if you have concerns about it, Facebook announced in a release.

It builds on the existing machine learning and AI that powers another of Facebook's photo features, tagging suggestions. If someone is trying to use your photo as a profile picture, Facebook will give you a notification.

As optimistic as Facebook is about the new use case for its facial recognition technology, it also recognizes that this is not something that everyone is going to want to participate in.

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There will also be a new on/off switch for all facial recognition features on Facebook. Currently, the site will prompt you to tag people it recognizes in photos and videos you upload.

Now, if you're in a photo and are part of the audience for that post, we'll notify you, even if you haven't been tagged.

In the near future, Facebook also plans to use face-recognition technology to notify you when someone else posts your image as their profile photo.

He added that Facebook will not introduce features to let strangers know who you are.

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The same technology is also being used for a new tool that supports people with visual impairments. The good news is that you can turn the feature off altogether with one simple setting. When photos and videos are uploaded to Facebook, they are compared to images in the template to determine if there is a match.

Facebook says Photo Review is rolling out to most regions, though folks in Canada and the European Union will not get to use it due to data laws that restrict the use of facial recognition. It's harder if the possible pool is more than a billion people, a.k.a. Facebook's entire user base.

Facial recognition may make the world safer, or more authoritarian, or just weirder - depending on your perspective.

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