What is Facebook Face Recognition & How Does It Work
We have already talked to you in other posts about facial eating and its applications. We have seen how this technology spreads more and more and is used for different purposes and on different platforms. And how could it be less? It has also signed up to this “fashion” of Facebook’s facial recognition. In this post, we will focus on explaining how the social network uses facial recognition and why.
Facebook Joins The Controversial Trend of Facial Recognition of People
In recent years, digital cameras and those incorporated into smartphones have caused hundreds of millions of photos and videos to circulate through cyberspace every day, images that we share with family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers through our social networks. And surely many of you tag the people who appear in your snapshots or appear tagged in those photographs. We could do this through the tag suggestion settings on Facebook, but a facial recognition setting has replaced this system.
For a relatively short time, we can use facial recognition on Facebook to tag ourselves or other people in the photos or videos that we publish (apart from other functions that we will see in the next point). Mark Zuckerberg’s social network thus joins this trend of using facial recognition to identify people.
And when we talk about facial recognition, we are talking about using biometric data, which in the RGPD is classified as a special category of personal data and must have special protection. The reason why the controversy around all this matter does not allow controversy around privacy. In any case, let’s see what facial recognition is used for on Facebook, how it works, and how we can configure it.
What Is It For?
The main function of this facial recognition system on Facebook is to search for people in the photos and videos that are published on the social network, specifically, to look for us, to suggest tags, and to inform us when we may have appeared in an image or video where we have not been tagged.
It will also suggest to tag the people it identifies through the facial recognition search carried out by Facebook. And the same in reverse, if a friend uploads a photo or video in which we appear, they will suggest our tag.
Another important function of the Facebook facial recognition program is to fight against identity theft in the social network. It will notify us if it detects a profile photo of someone who uses our image to impersonate us, allowing us to report it. Finally, it is also intended as one of the accessibility functions for people with vision problems, since it offers alternative text to indicate who appears in the images.
How Does Facebook Facial Recognition Work
Facebook’s facial recognition analyzes the photos and videos in which it evaluates that we appear, to create a unique number for each user, which is called a pattern. For this pattern to be created, it is essential that we first activate the facial recognition settings.
Once Facebook has created the pattern, it uses it to compare it with other photos and videos and places where it uses the camera, such as live videos that can be made through the social network, to check if we appear in those contents.
Facebook ensures that the pattern is not shared with anyone else and that once we deactivate the facial recognition option, it is eliminated. Likewise, they affirm that they do not have any facial recognition function that is used to inform strangers of our identity, that is, that, in principle, the label suggestions would be made between our contacts in the social network. If a photo or video is untagged, these would no longer be used as part of the pattern.
How To Disable It
In case you want to deactivate Facebook’s facial recognition, you have to follow the same steps as to activate it, but in the Edit option, choose “No.”
Once this setting is deactivated, Facebook will not recognize us in the photos or videos that other people publish and in which we are. As we said, it will eliminate the facial pattern that it had created for it. It is important to note that our friends or contacts will still be able to tag us in their photos or videos, but Facebook will no longer use facial recognition to suggest that they tag us.