Friday . 08 Dec. 2023

What is Facebook Face Recognition? Working and Securities Issues.

What is Facebook Face Recognition? Working and Securities Issues.

Facebook has launched a new feature called Facebook face recognition. Recently many Facebook users have spotted News Feed alert describing various new face recognition features. This feature was first announced back in December.

Once users enable this feature, they will be notified of photos they appear in even when they haven't been tagged.

Working of Facebook Face Recognition

Facebook's machine learning system is able to analyze the pixel of a face in the image and create " Template". This process comes into action only when you turn on your " tag suggestion" or " face recognition".

Facebook will describe this template as " strings of numbers" which is unique to each user. When anyone uploads a new image, the generated template and face present in the image is compared. Facebook will suggest a tag if there's a match.

You can view template as a sort of thumbprint as it is unique and able to identify users.

Once you turn off " tag suggestion" or " face recognition", Facebook will delete your template and can be re-enabled later.

What do I get out of Face Recognition?

If template pops up in your freshly uploaded photo, even if you haven't been tagged, Facebook's face recognition can send you a notification as long as you enable the features and are part of photo's target audience.

This feature is also capable of telling if another user uploads the image of your face as their profile and flag that user for catfishing.

The interesting part is even visually impaired Facebook users can use these features in conjunction with the social network's automatic alt-text tool for identifying who appears in Facebook photos.

No doubt, face recognition is a powerful tool for identifying people and detecting fraud.

How to turn on Face Recognition?

This features has recently rolled out but are not available everywhere. However, you can check if they're available in yours.

1. Login to your Facebook and click the triangle-shaped drop-down menu.

Facebook's drop down menu

2. Select " Settings and Privacy" from the available options.

Settings and Privacy

3. Choose " Settings" and look for " Face Recognition" from the left-hand menu.

Face Recognition

4. Click " Face Recognition" and read the review provided by Facebook.

5. Finally, click " Turn On" and click " Close".

Enable Facebook Recognition

If you have your tag suggestion turned on initially, this feature will be automatically enabled as they roll out to you.

Face  Recognition will be turned off by default if you have tag suggestion turned off and you can manually enable it later. You can check your tag suggestion status following these simple steps.

1. Follow the same step up to 3 and choose " Timeline and Tagging".

2. Now click " Who can see tag suggestion when photos that you like you are uploaded?". It is enabled if it is set to "Friends" and disabled if it is set to " No one".

Users can opt-out any time by following the above steps and their template gets deleted. So, what is opt-out? Well, Facebook allows users to carry their own choice regarding face recognition. It is turned on if they have their tag suggestion on and will be off if their tag suggestion or face recognition feature is off.

Facebook has clearly stated that tag suggestion was enabled by default when they were first rolled out and every user was enrolled until they opted out. If you are an old user and haven't changed your privacy settings till date, you are automatically enrolled in the new face recognition feature.

Once you turn off, Facebook deletes your template and removes you from both tag suggestion and face recognition process.

This feature is not available in Europe or Canada.

Why you should opt-out?

Opting out is important. Theoretically, we can assume that Facebook is able to recognize billions of people in photos. Think about a situation if you appeared in someone's background by happenance. The question is will Facebook ID you or make some inference about you based on the person on the photo?

Facebook denies this but we should all be cautious about their biometric ability to identify and catalogue scores of people in an instant.

Has Facebook violated BIPA?

BIPA stands for Biometric Information Privacy Act by Illinois which was passed in 2008. Some other states like Texas and Washington have adopted similar laws on the books. Yes, these states and some other few counties in the world are the places where users truly own their own faces.

Currently, Facebook is sued for reportedly violating BIPA. According to Plaintiffs, Facebook has violated BIPA by a widespread collection of face data.

However, Facebook fired back stating those collections wouldn't harm anyone as they scan for face templates.

The case is still moving and Facebook could pay up to $5,000 for each violation.

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