Facebook launches new facial recognition and privacy features

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The new features are being rolled out in the face of growing pressure on the company from regulators in Europe, the USA and elsewhere who have criticized Facebook for spreading fake news, fostering hate speech, eroding civil discourse and trampling privacy rights. Using facial recognition technology, Facebook can alert you to any photos in which you're visible regardless of whether or not you've been tagged.

The new features debuting today will be available everywhere except Europe and Canada, where privacy regulators have previously raised objections to Facebook's auto photo tagging feature, Sherman said.

Facebook lets the person posting a photo have the final say this way in order to deal with situations like public speaking events, where the speaker shouldn't have control over what's shared.

That's a question people will be asking as Facebook rolls out new tools this week to help users better manage their identity with face recognition. It will also notify even when users appear in someone else's profile picture.

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First of all, you need to change the "Tag suggestions" which is by default to no one. And just in time for alcohol-laden holiday parties, you can also be notified if someone in your friend network has posted a compromising picture of you without explicitly tagging you. We designed this as an on/off switch because people gave us feedback that they prefer a simpler control than having to decide for every single feature using face recognition technology. And because of a new face recognition service the social network is rolling out Tuesday, he can now learn which friends are in photos, even those who haven't been tagged by another user.

Both features will be turned on-or-off via a single toggle in Facebook's settings, Candela said.

The California-based company was also putting the technology to work to give visually impaired people more information about images at Facebook. Two years ago, we launched an automatic alt-text tool, which describes photos to people with vision loss. Facebook says that this "brings people closer together". He said if Facebook's system did not have high confidence in its identification of someone in a photo, it would leave them untagged.