Facebook takes on fake profiles with facial recognition tech

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Given that potential creepiness, and our longstanding interest in how People You May Know actually works, a Facebook spokesperson pre-emptively sent us a note about the facial recognition tool.

In the near future, Facebook also plans to use face-recognition technology to notify you when someone else posts your image as their profile photo.

Facebook's database of facial recognition has an impression of users' faces, which it calls a template.

Behind the message about protecting your identity, though is a larger truth about Facebook's ability to reach into your personal business: The announcement means that Facebook's face-recognition technology is now so powerful that it can recognize you in any photo, anywhere, even if it has no other reason to expect to find your face in that photo.

The feature likely won't be as annoying as described above, as Facebook's announcement post claims it only notifies you if "you're in a photo and part of the audience for that post", which presumably means if it was taken by a friend or a friend of a friend.

Читайте также: Facebook slams infringing content in first half of 2017

Sherman said that facial recognition has many positive uses, but he conceded that the technology can also be used "in concerning ways".

Introduced two years ago, the technology recognises broad object categories like "trees" or "river" and will now be able to read out the names of people in the photos too, provided they Facebook users. When photos and videos are uploaded to Facebook, they are compared to images in the template to determine if there is a match. That would be a boon for Facebook's People You May Know tool, allowing it to suggest as friends people whose faces appeared in the background of photos it identified you in, or vice versa. According to Sherman, this option will "completely turn off face recognition technology" for a user's account. Facebook has a long, very unfortunate history of keeping what you delete and making getting it off Facebook as hard as humanly possible.

Facebook also introduced new tools to try to prevent harassment Tuesday.

"If someone is being harassed, blocking the abuser sometimes prompts additional harassment, particularly offline", Davis wrote.

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