Facebook already uses facial recognition to some extent. Starting today, however, the social media juggernaut will expand on how it uses the technology by notifying you when someone uploads pictures with you in them, even if you weren’t tagged in them.
According to Facebook’s blog post, the idea behind Photo Review is to give you more control over your online identity by giving you more privacy settings to work with. For the time being, those settings are the only means to tinker with facial recognition, with folks being asked to grant Facebook permission to use facial recognition across the service.
This would allow Facebook to implement more features that use facial recognition, such as account recovery, though that remains to be seen. Facebook also says there will be an easier on-off switch if you find facial recognition to be more trouble than it’s worth.
As for Photo Review itself, it is powered by the same AI technology that suggest friends you might want to tag in your pictures. The good news here is that you do not have to be friends with someone for Photo Review to kick in — so long as you have friends in common, you will be notified.
When you are notified, you then have the choice to add your tag to the photo, leave yourself untagged, or report the photo as inappropriate.
However, you will only be notified of an untagged picture of yourself if you are part of the image’s intended “audience.” More specifically, the poster must set the image’s audience to “everyone” for you to be notified. The only exception to this is if the image was set as a profile picture, which is useful if you want to identify fake accounts.
Apart from that, Photo Review could also be used to take a trip back in time. Talking to The Verge, Facebook head of privacy Rob Sherman says Photo Review nudges you about photos you might have forgotten about. From there, you basically climb down the social media rabbit hole, looking at older pictures and friends you previously didn’t engage with as much.
Facebook says Photo Review is rolling out to most regions, though folks in Canada and the EU will not get to use it due to data laws that restrict the use of facial recognition.