Under the looming threat of additional privacy-related regulations, Facebook is giving users more control over one of its more invasive practices.
Effective immediately, the tech titan is
making facial recognition opt-in by default.
As such, people who newly join Facebook or who previously had the “tag suggestions” setting will now have the “face
The latter setting — which Facebook first began testing in late 2017 — provides a simple on/off switch for a broader set of uses of face recognition.
users turn on the face recognition setting, for example, they can then expect an alert when anyone uploads a photo of them, with or with a tag.
Users then have the option of tagging themselves
in the photo, remaining untagged, or reporting unwanted pictures of themselves.
Additionally, the old tag suggestions setting — which controls whether Facebook can suggest that a
user’s friends tag them in photos or videos using face recognition — will no longer be available.
Along with announcing the changes, Srinivas Narayanan, applied research lead at Facebook AI,
emphasized the importance of privacy-related matters.
“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,” Narayanan said in a post.
The matter of user privacy recently became a pricey problem for Facebook when the Federal Trade
Commission voted to fine the company $5 billion for running afoul of its consumer-privacy rules.
Showing its flexibility around the matter of privacy, Facebook recently began moving ahead with
plans to let some users detach their accounts from their app and Web histories.
The news came more than a year after Facebook teased a Clear History feature, which it promised would let users
block the company from correlating data collected throughout the web — via its “like” button — with their accounts.