Facebook replaces setting that only suggested friends to tag in photos

Andrew Cummings
September 4, 2019

Facebook had a somewhat creepy default face-scanning feature that wold scan and attempt to match faces in photos to the users they belonged to.

"We've continued to engage with privacy experts, academics, regulators and people on Facebook about how we use face recognition and the options you have to control it".

Later, in December 2017, the company introduced a broader "face recognition" settings option for "some people". If you don't have the facial recognition setting, Facebook said that it won't automatically suggest that your friends tag you in photos.


In a blog post Tuesday, Facebook said facial recognition will be off for all new users -- unless they opt to turn it on - as well as for existing users who do nothing in response to a forthcoming alert about the new settings. The notice will also include a button to turn the feature on or off, and Facebook says it will not enable face recognition by default for folks who are just getting it and don't elect to participate.

'In addition, features like Photo Review, which lets you know when you appear in photos even if you are not tagged, as long as you have permission to see the post based on its privacy setting, will not be activated.

This means Facebook will not be able to automatically suggest you be tagged in a photo if you've opted out.


Facebook previously called their facial recognition and tag-suggestion system "tag suggestions". For context, the 2017 effort was the culmination of over two years of work.

The FTC order is still pending approval but per our earlier post, we've agreed to a more comprehensive privacy framework that governs how we build our products.

"Facebook's face recognition technology still does not recognise you to strangers", Narayanan said. Face recognition is part of that conversation.


I'd make a joke about putting the "face" in "Facebook", but considering Facebook's being hit with a class action lawsuit over its allegedly illegal storage of the biometric data of millions of users without their consent... that feels as though it would be in rather poor taste. Anyone who doesn't already have this setting will be able to notified and asked if they want to turn it on.

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