Facebook announced Tuesday that it is expanding its facial recognition technology in the interest of user privacy. The tool will now be able to notify users when a picture of them is uploaded — regardless of whether or not they are tagged in it — based on whether the algorithm recognizes a user's face.
Facebook's head of privacy, Rob Sherman, told The Verge: "If someone posts a photo of you, you might not know about it. Now, the users can access the photo, and they can communicate to the person who posted it." Previously, Facebook would not flag the image for the untagged user, and any such photos would float along until the user in question stumbled upon it themselves, at which point they would be asked if they'd like to be tagged.
Should you receive a notification that your visage was uploaded in another user's photo, you can then either tag yourself in the photo, leave it as is, or report the image. Additionally, Facebook will now give users the option to turn off facial recognition technology altogether, for those who are less than keen on the social media company having intimate knowledge of their appearance.
Facebook's facial recognition technology has been a source of controversy in the past. The Verge notes that Facebook is currently embroiled in a lawsuit filed last year by users who claimed that the feature was pushed on users without their consent. To date, the lawsuit has not been resolved.