Facebook knows you're in a photo before being tagged

Illustration by Alex Castro  The Verge

They can review the post and then tag themselves, choose to leave themselves untagged or, if they are not comfortable with it, contact with the user who posted the photo to ask them to remove it, or file a complaint with Facebook, he said.

Facebook says that "these new features help you find photos that you're not tagged in and help you detect when others might be attempting to use your image as their profile picture".

The features demonstrate how Facebook is using a trove of facial recognition data, a type of data that has become a key focus for tech titans. Facebook users should be notified through the news feeds about the new feature, and the company will encourage everyone to check their own settings.

The new feature, which Facebook frames as a control measure for a user's image, is one of three new applications of facial recognition technology the company announced Tuesday.

And that, in turn, means Facebook has a new powerful tool for mapping who knows who on the social network.

You will only be notify if the post was shared with you.

Moving forward, you should now get a notification if someone tries to use a photo with your face as their profile picture. The exception to this rule, however, is if someone uploads a photo of you as their profile picture.

Given that potential creepiness, and our longstanding interest in how People You May Know actually works, a Facebook spokesperson pre-emptively sent us a note about the facial recognition tool.

"We're doing this to prevent people from impersonating others on Facebook", Candela wrote. That would be a boon for Facebook's People You May Know tool, allowing it to suggest as friends people whose faces appeared in the background of photos it identified you in, or vice versa.

Honesty time: I have some friends on Facebook whose posts sometimes greatly annoy me.

Unfortunately, the feature is not rolling out to Canada and the European Union where Facebook doesn't now offer face recognition technology. When enabled, notifications appear in your account when Facebook thinks it spotted you in a photo. That includes the United States but not Canada and Europe, where regulators have raised concerns about Facebook's existing facial recognition features and how the company complies with privacy laws.

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