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Facebook announced yesterday that it would start using face recognition technology to inform users of the service when other users “upload” their photos.
According to the company’s announcement the use of this feature will be optional while it is done to protect the privacy of the users. As a first step, the operation will only be available in the US, as more stringent privacy laws are in place in the EU. However, the company claims that it expects the use of face recognition technology in the future to be implemented in more countries in the near future.
It is worth noting that Facebook uses early face recognition styles as early as 2010, when the social networking service made “suggestions” of people who could tag themselves in a photo, this feature being also optional.
With the new feature, people who have activated it will receive notifications from Facebook if their photo has been uploaded to the network but provided that the users themselves have access to that photo. Facebook’s plans are to add an on / off button that allows users to control all face recognition features that are offered.
Finally, the company announced that it plans to use face recognition technology to inform users when someone else uploads their photos as a profile picture, which according to the announcement will help reduce false user profiles. Another useful application will be the integration of software that will describe the content of the photos in words to help visually impaired people.
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