Facebook’s Facial Recognition Feature Rolled Out to Rest of the World

At just about half a year old, the still relatively new facial recognition feature that enables Facebook photo tagging assists first became available to American users in December. Now, the Zuckerberg group is nearing completion of a worldwide roll-out.

Many are glad. The next time a photo album is uploaded, it will no longer be necessary to tag people individually on each photo because with the new tool, the process becomes more automatized. But others have already taken issue with the network’s insistence on introducing new sharing features by way of default privacy setting changes issued across the board.

If you find yourself undesirably tagged in an uploaded picture or two, you’ll have to untag yourself one picture at a time because there’s no way to opt out completely: if Facebook recommends your image for tagging, there’s nothing in place that can prevent your friends from heeding the recommendation. Justin Mitchell, a Facebook engineer blogging officially for Facebook explains it like this: “When you or a friend upload new photos, we use face recognition software — similar to that found in many photo editing tools –to match your new photos to other photos you’re tagged in. We group similar photos together and, whenever possible, suggest the name of the friend in the photos.”

It is possible to disable the suggested tags so that at least your name will not be suggested. This is probably a good time to have a closer look at your Facebook account settings.

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